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Current Zen Master and former Bulls coach Phil Jackson took his book tour to 'The Daily Show' to chat about "11 Rings: The Soul of Success" - the tome in which he dishes on his preference of Michael Jordan over Kobe Bryant.

Jon Stewart, a Knicks fan, pushed Jackson on whether he might have his sights set on New York - or Brooklyn - and got a tepid statement on Phil's lack of interest in returning to the court. Now, front office ...

There were a couple of Bulls snippets, though no more Kobe/Michael talk. Jackson was on the show wearing the 72-10 1995-96 championship ring. And Stewart asked about North Korea enthusiast Dennis Rodman. Jackson said he never suspected Rodman might have diplomatic skills, but did say he occasionally has contact with his former forward. Though, not by phone or text? Does Rodman only appear in his dreams?

Also, you'll be happy to hear, Phil isn't hurting for money. So stop your worrying.

danGilbert.jpgCleveland, as you may have heard, lost a basketball player Thursday night. But the city has something to fill the hole in its collective hear created by LeBron James departure to the Miami Heat via free agency - a burning hatred.

And outside of the fans turning out to burn James No. 23 jersey in the streets, perhaps no other Clevelander sums up passionate dislike more that Dan Gilbert, the majority owner of James' now former hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. In fact, Gilbert wants to leave nothing to chance in letting his former star and the city that worshiped him know where he stands on the issue, going so far as to issue an open letter to the universe declaring his distaste for King James. Some highlights:

Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

...

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

...

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:

"I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER 'KING' WINS ONE"

You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that's simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow-up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

Just watch. ...

OK, so, bitter much, Dan? Admittedly, though, understandably. But now you have a big promise to deliver on. Yes, you have some money to spread. Quite a bit, actually. But the aisles are starting to get a little bare in the free agent store.

But you do have spirit. And a city filled with the desire the see your promise come true, as much for spite as team and civic pride, but that counts, too.

Good luck, Cleveland. Now you just have to back up the talk.

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Not sure which is worse for Antoine Walker. That he's being sued in a $2.3 million foreclosure lawsuit over the Tinley Park mansion he bought his mom or that he lists himself as unemployed in the subsequent bankruptcy filing.

The latest trouble in a string of bad news for the former NBA All Star shows Walker with assets of $4.28 million against liabilities of $12.74 million, according to a report in Crain's Chicago Business. He was last in the news for writing a series of bad checks on casino debt, though charges were deferred when a payment plan was agreed upon.

Walker made $110 million in his 13-year NBA career.

In the bankruptcy filing, Walker claims he has no monthly income and no job. Aside from debt on real estate, the petition includes more than $1.25 million in gambling debt to casinos in Las Vegas and Northwest Indiana. And there's his 2006 NBA championship ring, listed at $6,000 according to the filing.

Northern Trust filed the foreclosure suit in Chicago on May 13.

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It's always nice to see Dwyane Wade make a stop in his hometown of Chicago, but this might be a little over the top. Wade and the Miami Heat were forced to make an emergency landing at O'Hare International Airport early Sunday morning when a member of the cockpit crew went into a diabetic coma.


Not what you want hear coming out of the cockpit.


Of course, the world found out via Twitter, with DWade doing the reporting honors - never mind the slip on facts - at his official page:


Hey everyone pray for our pilot. We just had a emergency landing in chicago. He went into a Coma. God bless this man and his family


Turns out is was actually a mechanic on board, not the pilot, but suffice to say it was a bit of a scramble. Miami Heat trainers administered aid as the plane landed and the man, who became ill while in the cockpit, was taken to a hospital for further treatment.


The team was returning to Miami after beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 97-84 on Saturday night.


Sadly, Wade could not stay in town to breathe life into the Bulls' playoff push while he was at it. turns out he had to jet for more important things:


Ok taking off to Miami. Gd nite tfam. I need to get some rest gotta go support my homie @andyroddick 2morrow in championship match

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President Obama poses Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher at the White House.

The First Hoops Fan was thrilled to invite the Los Angeles Lakers to the White House on Monday, even if he had to throw some Bulls props in the mix.

Obama said he was especially excited to meet Lakers' coach Phil Jackson, who has won 10 championships, though he didn't hesitate to point out that six of those victories were with Obama's hometown Bulls.

"You remember that," Obama joked with former Lakers all-star Magic Johnson, who was on the losing end of the Bulls 1991 victory.

The President also commended the Lakers players not only for their athletic achievements, but also their work off the court. The players held a fitness clinic for Washington-area school children Monday, and several players are donating money to relief efforts in Haiti.

The Lakers won their 15th title last season agains the Orlando Magic.

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President Obama shakes hands with Dikembe Mutombo at the 'Let Freedom Ring' concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington on Monday. (AP Photo)

It's always nice when you can point to a "pro athlete does good" story. And when the President of the United States helps to honor your humanitarian achievements, you've clearly done plenty of good.

The good guy athlete in this case is former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo, who starred in the pivot for several teams in 18 seasons on the court, but clearly knew how to use his success for the best. Mutombo was honored Monday night for the work done through the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation to improve health, literacy and lives in his native Congo.

"You never know what direction your life will take you or ... what road you will travel, but your chances of success are certainly greater with an education than without one," Mutombo said as he accepted the Coach John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award during an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Mutombo said he sold fruit and vegetables for about $1 a day in order to pay his school fee in Congo before coming to Georgetown university, where he briefly studied medicine before coach Thompson persuaded him to hit the hardwood. He still ended up with dual degrees in linguistics and diplomacy.

Mutombo's namesake foundation works combat childhood diseases in Congo. It also opened a hospital in Kinshasa, which has served more than 25,000 patients.

President Barack Obama praised Mutombo (real name Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo) for giving back to his nation's people and honoring King's legacy of service. Obama said the 18-year NBA veteran was attacking problems in Africa in "with the same ferocity with which he used to block shots in the NBA."

It's not the first time a president has honored the renowned shot blocker. President George W. Bush singled him out during the 2007 State of the Union address for his accomplishments and recent U.S. citizenship:

Mutombo played for six NBA teams, was the league's top defensive player four times and was selected for eight All-Star games during his career.

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This will likely be something closer to the pitter-patter of big feet. Houston Rockets center Yao Ming and wife Ye Li are expecting a baby, their first, according to reports.

Yao checks in at 7'6", but the wife is no slouch at 6'2". So this kid is gonna pop out the size of a science-fiction creation.

Yao has been helping manage his old team, the Shanghai Sharks, while out with a foot injury. Thus the time for baby making.

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Vinny Del Negro doesn't need to worry about the endless snow and bitter cold in Chicago. There's enough heat building around him to keep the embattled Bulls coach warm until spring.

The latest log on the firing fire comes from an ESPN report claiming that the Bulls have already decided to jettison Del Negro and are actively seeking out coaches for a mid-season termination. Barring that, the site reports he's definitely gone at season's end.

John Paxson, Gar Forman and Bennie the Bull all declined comment.

A huge turnaround for the underperforming Bulls could change the team's collective mind on Vinny's fate, but when you watch a young team with high expectations continue to struggle with fundamentals, heart, desire, etc., the future is not good from a coaching employment standpoint. Oh, then there's this:

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No, we said shooting guard, Gilbert.

Washington Wizards standout Gilbert Arenas is in a bit of a spot after being caught storing firearms in his locker. Not really a good idea in general, particularly bad in the District of Columbia where gin ownership remains a controversial proposition after a zero-tolerance ban on firearms possession - even with a license - was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008 as a violation of the Second Amendment.

The three-time All-Star is now a target of an NBA weapons probe.

Turns out Arenas was trying to do the right thing. He removed the guns from his home after the birth of his daughter, according to an interview in the Washington Times:

"I wouldn't have brought them to D.C. had I known the rules," Arenas said. "After my daughter was born, I was just like, I don't need these anymore. I don't want them around the kids. We are working with the league and the authorities."

The Wizards released a statement Thursday evening after the news leaked out, initially being reported by cbssports.com:

"The Washington Wizards have learned that Gilbert Arenas stored firearms in a locked container in his locker, unloaded and without ammunition," the Wizards' statement read. "The Wizards organization and Arenas promptly notified the local authorities and the NBA and are cooperating fully with law enforcement during its review of this matter and will have no further comment at this time."

It's not the first time Arenas has had weapons issues. He was suspended for Washington's season opener in 2004 because he failed to maintain proper registration of a handgun while living in California in 2003 when he played for the Golden State Warriors.

League rules allow for players to own guns, but in accordance with local laws and firearms are prohibited on team property.

Los Angeles Clippers guard Sebastian Telfair was suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount in 2006 after a loaded handgun registered to his girlfriend was found in his pillowcase aboard the team's plane when he was with Portland.

Yes, we're supporting blatant commercialization with this post, but who cares? It's Christmas - the official holiday of rampant commercialization.

Besides, these Nike spots playing up an old school rap battle between Santa Claus (an old school legend - KRS-One) and Blitzen (current Chicago hip hop legend Lupe Fiasco) with the help of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

The Blitzen challenges Santa to a game of hoops, talks a bunch of smack, then gets planted by the Jolly Old Elf. Pretty good stuff, really. Especially good to hear KRS1 again. This might be the best Christmas rap since Run DMC's "Christmas in Hollis."

Anyway, Blitzen boasts about his game, telling Santa he'll spot him Kobe, LeBron and points anytime:

It all leads up to this epic rap and hoops battle on the courts, cause, you know, Santa won't be faded: