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March 18, 2015 Updates

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has received the February NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his outstanding efforts to empower youth and take a stand against violence, the NBA announced today. The award recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities. Kaiser Permanente and the NBA are honoring Noah for his commitment to improving the lives of local youth and combatting violence throughout Chicago. Noah has dedicated himself to helping children develop a stronger sense of self through his Noah’s Arc Foundation (NAF), which recently launched the “Rock Your Drop: The Drop of Consciousness” anti-violence initiative. The Drop Movement supports those impacted by violence and encourages youth to express themselves through creative outlets like sports and art. NBA.com

But Jordan wasn't comfortable with the different drafts, and at that moment, he took matters into his own hands. He thought of a way to keep to his style of being simple and straight to the point: "I'm Back." "He felt that it didn't require an explanation or a justification," said Falk, who faxed the final press release to media outlets. "I thought I was a pretty good writer, written a lot of things, but he said, 'Let me do this.' So he sat down at the table and thought about it for a couple of minutes and he wrote, 'I'm Back.' He said, 'OK, that's it.' It was classic Michael Jordan. It was elegant in simplicity, it communicated how he felt, it said it all. "It was like Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator, 'I'll be back.' Sometimes you don't have to be prosaic to be elegant in your expression. His two words expressed it all." Bleacher Report

Watching from a distance were Dwyane Wade, who was 13 at the time, and Jamal Crawford, 14. They were both at home—Wade in Chicago with his stepbrothers and Crawford with a friend in Los Angeles. "My brother was sitting in the kitchen with his small 12-inch TV watching all the coverage, [Jordan] pulling up in a Ferrari," said Wade, who's a good friend of the Hall of Famer and was an endorser of his company at one point. "It was just a cool moment. It's crazy that it was 20 years ago. I was my son, Zaire's, age now. "When he came back, it was just the excitement that we got the opportunity to witness him more. Being a kid in the community that I grew up in, it was big to have that confidence, to walk around with that kind of swagger. You don't understand the impact that the Bulls, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, those guys had on me as a young kid. They were the reason that I had a dream, a hope that I can be that one day." Bleacher Report

"It was a distraction for sure, but a welcome one," Longley said. "The practices started to be much more heated, much more competitive—longer even, too. We had to get a lot of work in to get Michael up to speed with the team, or the team up to speed with Michael depending on which way you want to look at it. "I do remember there being a lot of scrimmaging. Michael wanted to get up and down the court, and he was matching up with Scottie, and Scottie was in midseason form and at the height of his game. So that was a good way to bring Michael up to speed. Michael was just feeling his own way and we were wondering what was going on." Bleacher Report

March 17, 2015 Updates

Former NBA player Jack Haley died Tuesday at age 51, the Haley family announced Tuesday. Haley played college ball at UCLA and was a fouth-round pick by the Chicago Bulls in 1987. FoxSports.com

March 16, 2015 Updates
March 15, 2015 Updates

Butler, in theory, could play next season on a qualifying offer of just more than $3 million in the hopes of getting to unrestricted free agency and a higher maximum contract of four years and roughly $97 million in 2016 when the TV money makes the cap jump. Butler also could opt for a trade or a creatively-structured shorter deal with a trade kicker and player option. For instance, a four-year, $70 million deal with a player option in the final season could get Butler to unrestricted free agency in the land of unprecedented salary caps earlier. The Bulls almost certainly would match that offer. That's the thing about both sides betting on themselves. No harm, no foul, it's just the price of doing business. It's now a matter of how many millions Butler's jump will cost the Bulls. Chicago Tribune

No free agent had ever received the amount of attention the Thunder gave Gasol. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Scott Brooks all met with Gasol in Los Angeles last July in an attempt to recruit him to Oklahoma City. The two-time champion and now five-time All-Star ultimately chose Chicago, signing a three-year deal worth approximately $22 million. “At some point I had to make a decision on where I thought I would fit better as a basketball player,” Gasol told The Oklahoman. “And I think so far it’s been proven that I made a pretty good choice.” Oklahoman

In a documentary produced by HBO Sports last fall, Durant said a city’s culture was a heavy influencer in Gasol’s decision. “He was more concerned about the city,” Durant said of Gasol in the documentary. “He’s into, like orchestras and plays.” Gasol refuted that theory and said it was about basketball. “No. To me, it was where I would fit best on the court,” Gasol told The Oklahoman. “I’m sure there are musicals and theaters in Oklahoma as well. That wasn’t a difference-maker for me at all. But I do appreciate music and culture. But that was not a difference-maker for my decision. I appreciated every team that showed interest,” Gasol said. “And Oklahoma, the Thunder were a team that I highly considered. They were a great option for me as well. But I had to make a tough, tough choice. I was thankful for their interest, for Sam Presti, Scott Brooks, Russell, KD, they all really showed their desire to have me on board. So I’m always going to be appreciative of that.” Oklahoman

March 13, 2015 Updates
March 12, 2015 Updates

A pair of Nike basketball shoes, believed to be the earliest NBA game-worn Michael Jordan sneakers to ever hit the market, will be auctioned off next month. Khalid Ali, who was a ballboy for the Los Angeles Lakers for the 1984-85 season, has consigned the Nike shoes he says Jordan gave to him after the Chicago Bulls played the Lakers on Dec. 2, 1984, to SCP Auctions. Ali, 15 at the time, distinctly remembers asking Jordan for the shoes on his feet during warmups. They were red, white and black, Ali said, a pair of what would become the first Air Jordans. ESPN.com

March 11, 2015 Updates


Very few doubts with the Top 2, but who comes after Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen?


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