Chicago Sun-Times

NBA vets just love marathon practices

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When I read Wednesday about Vinny Del Negro's marathon practice, the first person I thought of was Larry Hughes. And I smirked.

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The smirk grew into a full-fledged smile when I read that Hughes skipped the practice because of some problem with a surgically repaired knuckle.

And then I see Ben Gordon sat out, too. For some reason, I wasn't as suspicious of Gordon - at first. Then I saw Del Negro actually had to address the suspicion that Gordon sat out as protest over not getting a contract done.

My cynicism may be unfounded. They both could be legitimately injured, but it seemed like a smirkable coincidence.

Made me think back to my days covering the worst five-year stretch in NBA history. Wonder how Charles Oakley would have liked a four-hour practice. Especially one conducted by a rookie coach. My guess? Not so much.

But at least Oak would have practiced. Eddie Robinson? He would have skpped it. That's who Hughes reminds me of, Eddie Robinson. Talented, but not the most committed, team-oriented players in the world.

Good luck to Del Negro. I don't know how many marathon practices I would throw, though. Reminds me of some bad times.

Then I read Drew Gooden saying this is a "rebuilding year." Yikes. Bad memories, indeed.

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4 Comments

Dismal offseason leaves questions. Is it me, or have the Bulls given up on turning this team into a serious contender any time in the near future? Last year they were picked by most to contend for the top spot in the east, and now, after miraculously obtaining the top pick in the draft with quality players available, their coach is already conceding this to be rebuilding year. My question is this; is Paxson overmatched or is Reinsdorf losing his commitment to his second favorite Chicago franchise? The offseason could have looked like this; the hiring of an accomplished head coach in Mike D'Antoni whose system perfectly fits the talent on this team, particularly with Rose as the top pick. Duhon, though out of favor with the organization, could have been an ideal compliment to Rose in running D'Antoni's offense. Ben Gordon, as the teams only player capable of scoring in bunches on a regular basis, could have been signed long term for 10.5 - 11mill per year to be one of the leagues premier sixth men and another valuable cog in the D'Antoni system. Heinrich and another player, perhaps Gooden or Nocioni, could have been dealt for an all-star caliber front court player providing size, toughness, and inside scoring. These off-season moves would have left us a contender this year and for years to come, while providing an entertaining brand of basketball not seen since in Chicago since.. dare I say, the 90's. Why is this organization now acting like their the Memphis Bulls??? I have already given up on this season, and we may be worse next year after Gordon leaves. I sure hope Pax has a plan, but his track record since he signed Ben Wallace is quite poor. Not signing Gordon is a real head scratcher, and not a good sign. If it resulted because the owner didn't want to pay a slight luxury tax for a short period of time, then this franchise may be in more trouble than anyone thinks. The next time I hear that Sefalosha is taking advantage of his increased playing time, I will know the season is over. Pax, please prove me wrong... and hurry before your new coach loses this team even before he learns the nuances of coaching in the nba.

What is it exactly that made you smirk in regard to Larry Hughes. What I mean is, why do you and many of the other guys in the Chicago media seem to despise Larry Hughes. I haven't really heard any negative things about the guy since he got here. So what is it? Can you guys just not handle all the tattoo's? To me he seems like a decent guard that is probably nearing the end of his career, but that doesn't necessarily make him a bad guy. It just makes John Paxson a bad G.M. Which begs the following question...Why aren't you hating on Paxson instead? He and Reinsdorf got us into this debacle. Not Larry Hughes.

Roman responds: You make a decent point. My problem with Hughes was the stuff about caring more how much he plays than about winning. I know he said it in Cleveland, but he didn't back down form it here. And I just think that's real dangerous stuff on a young team. So we'll see. To be honest, I'm not that close to the team now and maybe I should cut him some slack, although I guess it doesn't matter cuz it looks like he'll be out a while now with the shoulder injury. Not smirking about that.

It is preseason, these pampered overpaid pansies can't play basketball for 4 hours, actually less than 3 after film study.

Didn't we all used spend the whole day at the playground or the gym playing the game(s) that we loved for free when we were kids. Every time they complained I would increase the practice time by an additional hour.

The Bulls obviously need the work, and in order to run an up tempo style the players need to be in better shape than their peers.

Jordan wouldn't have complained, he would have just kicked everybodies butt even harder in the last hour.

Hughes needs to be sent home, just like Robinson was, he absolutely digusts me, and Gordon and his Mope a Dope attitude should be on a very short leash and disciplined severey for attitude lapses. There is no doubt that he is Jaking it because of his deluded contract demands.

Like when Hughes played with Jordan?
You don't know Hughes, you have no knowledge what he did all summer, your like a bad political ad, all out of context.
He never demanded anything in a contract, Lebron James asked for him, actually he wanted to stay with the Wizards.
Playground versus College, your not even close.
College versus the NBA, your further off.
You don't lead the NBA in steals and not be someone that hustle's? Do you understand that son.
You don't become one of the better defensive players in the game by dogging it.
Your so far off and mad cause you don't make any money at whatever you do and just show envy.
Is basketball the most important thing in life? Hell no, read Hughes history. life is precious, this is a game and like it or not, he is 29 and has 10 years in the league and another 5 to go at minimum. It just disgust me when some idiot kicks a guy that has had bad luck with injuries (finger almost torn off). You rip Bo Jackson when he played for our Whitesocks? Forget the personal stuff, cause you ain't got the you know what to even handle what this dude did for his childhood. You would cry like a baby. Wait to you see the generosity of Larry Hughes in Chicago, then see what other players on the Cubs, Blackhawks, Bears do for your city, compare it? They will never come close and be modest about it.

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This page contains a single entry by published on October 16, 2008 9:48 AM.

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