Chicago Sun-Times

January 2009 Archives

On the day Derrick Rose was named as a participant in the Rookie Challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend, the rookie point guard announced he had decided to compete in the Skills Challenge during the All-Star Saturday lineup.

Gordon miffed over being fined, confronts Del Negro

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Minutes after coach Vinny Del Negro told media to ask his players if they respect him, Ben Gordon was seen by some of the same media confronting Del Negro and using expletives toward the coach in a Berto Center hallway. Gordon was upset at being fined for breaking a team rule. ``I respect Vinny, everybody respects Vinny,'' Gordon said, declining to go into detail. ``This is not a `respect' issue. It's a non-issue.'' Del Negro declined to comment through a team spokesman.

Gooden out with groin injury

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Drew Gooden missed the home game Tuesday against the Hawks because of his sore left groin. Coach Vinny Del Negro hopes Gooden, who has been playing through the injury, will benefit from rest. The Bulls next play Friday at home against Toronto.

Humble Rose won't agree with coach's declaration

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Coach Vinny Del Negro said on Monday that the race for the NBA's Rookie of the Year award is over, but Derrick Rose -- Del Negro's runaway choice -- doesn't agree.

"I wouldn't say that," Rose said. "There are still a lot of good rookies out there. I just to win the award for winning games [by a rookie]."

When asked if the season would be a success if he was named Rookie of the Year and the Bulls missed the playoffs, Rose said: "Not really. I couldn't care less about that award. I just want to make the playoffs."

Duhon rates Obama's game

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Former Bull Chris Duhon knows Reggie Love, Barack Obama's personal assistant, from their days together at Duke. Duhon, obviously, was a basketball player, while Love played on the football team. Because of his connection to Love, it's not surprising that Duhon came across the new president on the basketball court.

"We played a couple times," Duhon said. "A lot of times when they were in Chicago, Sunday was usually their day off. Reggie usually stayed at my house and I usually got up and played with them."

So what's Obama's best move? "I don't think he has a best move," Duhon said.

Turning serious, Duhon had this to say about Love working so closely with the man sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on Tuesday: "I'm very proud of him. I mean, he's been through a lot, a lot of adversity. For him to be in the position he's in, I'm very excited and happy for him."

MLK tribute serious stuff for Gordon

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Both Ben Gordon and Joakim Noah spoke with passion in pregame video tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Saturday at the United Center.
``Dr. King, what he's done for this nation and the world, his life and what he stood for is amazing,'' Gordon said Sunday. ``So before the game I took that very seriously. I didn't want to just go up there half-heartedly and not represent him in the right way. Before the game I was practicing what I was going to say. I wanted to make sure I did him justice [in] the few minutes I had to talk about him.''

Drew Gooden, one of the Bulls captains, has played through injuries and averaged 13.4 points and 8.8 rebounds per game for team in desperate need of post play.
He is in the last year of a contract which plays him $7.1 million this season. All of which may make Gooden attractive trade bait for the Bulls as the league's Feb. 19 deal deadline nears. Gooden, a former fourth overall pick of Memphis (2002) has been traded three times in what is now a seven-season career.
``I'm just going to let it play out,'' Gooden said. ``This is the team I want to be with. We'll see what happens. Unfortunately, this is a business, and I've been a victim of the business my whole career. Anything can happen. That's been my situation my whole career; always being the guy that had trade value other teams would want to have. I just can't think of that stuff. I'm just going to play for my team and try to win some games.
``This is really an attractive place. It's a great city. Great tradition here. When I got traded here, I was in awe. Being a Chicago Bull meant a lot to me. So this is going to be an attractive place [for free agents], esepcially with Derrick Rose on the blossom.''

Gooden out vs. Raptors tonight

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The Bulls playing with a full roster lasted exactly one game.

Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng returned to action Monday night, but power forward Drew Gooden suffered a groin injury in that game and will not play against the Raptors tonight.

Gooden is listed as day-to-day and his status for Thursday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the United Center is not known.

Hinrich, Deng, Sefolosha return tonight

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Kirk Hinrich is set to play tonight for the first time since thumb suregry Nov. 11, when the Bulls host the Portland Trailblazers. Hinrich said Saturday he expected to return Thursday, when the Bulls host the Cleveland Cavaliers. Luol Deng, out eight games with a sprained left ankle, is also expected back. Thabo Sefolosha, who miss the loss to Oklahoma City Saturday due to the flu, will also return.

Nocioni leaves game with ankle sprain

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Andres Nocioni left the game with 67 seconds left in the first half Friday with a sprained right ankle. He returned with 8:47 left in the fourth and scored a three-point jumper 30 seconds later.

Gooden, Deng, Ilgauskas out tonight

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Drew Gooden and Luol Deng (sprained ankles) remained out for the Bulls here in Cleveland. The Cavaliers were without Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who was diagnosed Friday with a bone chip in his left ankle. Ilgauskas is expected to be out up to a month.

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