Joakim Noah finally got that chest bump from Tony Snell

, on October 8, 2014 , 9:55AM


Remember that? Well now there’s this.



Wow. With rapid improvements like that one, Snellycat’s second season should be quite a delight. Because if we’ve learned anything, it’s that practice makes perfect, even if it’s during celebrations.


(via Reddit)

A personal history of hated NBA teams

, on October 7, 2014 , 1:10PM

bill laimbeer whining


I don’t really consider myself a “hater” or someone who holds grudges, but this post is going to tell you all about some teams I’ve hated and held grudges against. We’re all humans and we all contain multitudes, so sunglasses deal with it. Besides, if you’ve spent a couple decades as a Bulls fan, you probably feel the same way.


As such, here are the teams I can remember hating, in chronological order, since I’ve become a basketball fan.


1988-91 Detroit Pistons

Level of hate (1-10): 4

Reasons for hating: To be totally honest, I was a little too young (just four years old in 1988) to really hate the Pistons when them and the Bulls were beefing at the end of the 80s. This is more of a built-in hate that every Bulls fan with a Bulls fan dad has, and one that only grows the more you learn about the Bad Boy Pistons. Unfortunately for them, there are books and documentaries and TV specials that detail how they thugged out constantly, so you’re reminded time and time again about how detestable they were. And really, that’s the true mark of a villain — an ability to make people hate them even after they’ve gone away. So yeah, I hated the Pistons, but only because how could you not?



Video: Michael Jordan loves your beautiful hair

, on June 26, 2014 , 10:00AM


If you’ve ever seen Scottie Pippen’s legendary Mr. Submarine commercial, then you know that late-80s/mid-90s Bulls commercials were equally plentiful and bewildering. This one, for Gentle Treatment from 1986, is no different. I mean, it’s basically just Michael Jordan creeping on a reporter for having beautiful hair, and when I say “basically,” I mean that is what it is entirely.


Which is to say, two thumbs up.


(via Bulls on Parade)

Video: R. Kelly pitches Carmelo Anthony on Chicago with a song

, on June 25, 2014 , 11:00AM


Click forward to about the 6:40 mark of this interview with R. Kelly to hear the most beautiful free agency pitch since the Magic bought Dwight Howard all his favorite candies. If this doesn’t convince Carmelo Anthony to sign with the Bulls, then nothing will.


(via Fake Shore Drive)

Video: Four minutes of Joakim Noah leading the fast break

, on April 1, 2014 , 3:00PM


If you need me, I’ll be over here, downloading this brilliant supercut from YouTube and then having it burned on to a golden Laserdisc so that I can show my future grandkids how they need to play whenever they are born and grow up. Only one question — how young is too young to to tutor a child in the ways of Noah? Might be weird to stick a player in a hospital incubator, so I’ll probably just wait until they arrive home and then rig some sort of continuous loop so that they have to watch this 24 hours a day. World’s best grandpa, right here.


(via Point Forward)

A probably incomplete history of the Joakim Noah-Hooper beef

, on March 6, 2014 , 3:00PM


It all started about a year ago, this rapidly intensifying feud between Chicago Bulls All-Star Joakim Noah and Detroit Pistons mascot Hooper. Or at least that’s the earliest thing I can find, that there clip from before a Bulls game in Detroit on April 7 of last year. It was then that the dastardly horse threatened Noah with a vicious ball toss, ignored Noah’s peace-keeping warning and then pelted the big man with a basketball, only to suffer the consequences — a single lash of the jumprope as whipped by the noble hand of Joakim Noah.


Then last night, the clash was reignited.



Once again, Hooper preyed on Noah, luring him in to a false sense of security with a pregame paper-rock-scissors match before scaring the bejeezus out of Noah in the hallway after the Bulls’ victory. And once again, it was Hooper who took the upper hand in this quarrel, showing Noah that he could defeat him with psychological warfare just as easily as he had destroyed him physically with that ball whip. We knew Hooper liked fisticuffs, but this is something new, something far more sinister.


If you have any further details regarding the Noah-Hooper altercation, please contact The Starters. He’s been messing with us for a while now, so it’s time to strike back.

Joakim Noah credits Brad Miller with teaching him how to pass

, on February 25, 2014 , 3:00PM

joakim and brad thumbs up


It was just a couple of weeks ago that we all agreed Joakim Noah is the best passing big man in the NBA right now. It’s a title that changes just about every season, but as of the 2013-14 season, Noah gets the nod. I mean, of all players 6-foot-10 or taller, he leads the league in assists per game, is tied for first in assists per 36, and is first in assist percentage — when you are first in all relevant categories, it’s a pretty easy choice.


And while that’s all well and good, finding out who Noah is getting his passing skillz from is even more well and good. From the Chicago Tribune:


The text messages from Brad Miller ping frequently on Joakim Noah’s phone.


“He hits me all the time and tells me he’s proud of me. That means everything. That’s my guy,” Noah said recently in a quiet moment. “He watches a lot of the games and, good or bad, he always gives me his opinion. I know he’s proud because all he cares about is backdoor passes. He doesn’t care about defense with his fat butt; that’s for sure.”


So what you’re telling me is that my previous favorite player in the NBA taught my current favorite player in the NBA the thing that makes both of them so valuable? Allow me to swoon while Joakim Noah keeps talking about Brad Miller.


And Noah, whose team-high 241 assists are 43 more than runner-up Kirk Hinrich, is trying to become the first center to lead his team in assists since David Robinson topped the Spurs in 1993-94.


Whether he accomplishes this or not, Noah will give some credit to Miller — with a tweak, of course.


“I’ll never forget that one day at the Berto after practice,” Noah recalled. “Brad said, ‘Come over here. This is what you need to do. You’re not going to be a catch-it-in-the-post guy. I got some things that can really help you. Just listen to what I got. I’m going to teach you some things at the elbow and it’s going to help your career.’ It changed a lot of things for me.


“For me, Brad is always my vet. There’s no lying in that. Even if he said all that with a big dip (of chewing tobacco) in his mouth.”


I almost can’t handle how much I love about all of this — their relationship, the mentorship, Noah working in a chewing tobacco zing — but this syncs up perfectly with what Noah once told me was the biggest thing he learned from B-Rad.


“To throw the backdoor pass, even if it’s not there.”


Hilariously enough, if you watch enough Bulls games this year, you’re bound to see Joakim working in the high post, throwing backdoor passes basically any time their might be a sliver of a chance they’ll work. It’s a total Brad Miller move, and while he’s acknowledged that’s where he learned from in the past, it’s always great to hear these two bros talking about each other. After all, it’s not every day that a hippie citizen of the world and a redneck gangsta from the middle of Indiana become best friends.

Joakim Noah calls his made jumpers ‘demoralizing’ because they’re ‘so ugly’

, on February 10, 2014 , 3:00PM


Midway through the fourth quarter of yesterday’s win against the Lakers, Joakim Noah busted out his signature spinning jumper. And as is often the case, it went in. Lakers fans around the world were devastated.


As it turns out, that complete decimation of the team’s mindset wasn’t an accident. No, in fact, it’s a carefully designed brain zinger that’s a huge side benefit to these ugly shots going in. From ESPN:


Thibodeau, as he has done so often during the past month, bet on Noah — and won. The emotional center proceeded to score four more points down the stretch. He finished the game with 20, but it was his jumper in the final 12 minutes that he was most proud of.


“I’m just happy it went down,” Noah said. “Because I know that my jump shot is so ugly that when I knock it down it’s demoralizing to the other team. It was a big jump shot for me.”


First and foremost, as with all things involving Joakim Noah’s jump shot: LOL. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s just say that I actually kind of believe this cockamamie theory.


Just think. You’re a professional basketball team that’s playing defense against the Bulls, a team who isn’t known for having any offensive skill at all. So you play your defense, you make your rotations, you stop all the Bulls’ primary options, and then the ball gets swung around to an open Joakim Noah, who is 15 feet from the basket — and in that moment, the defense is probably very happy. They’re thinking, “Yeah, shoot it, man. We’ve seen your garbage jump shot. This is a win for us.” Mental high-fives all around.


But then, the shot goes in. “That’s not supposed to happen,” the defense thinks, “We’re totally cool with that shot, because look at that shot. But it went in. Really?” And suddenly, everyone is freaking out, no one knows which way is up, and dogs and cats are living together. Mass hysteria. It just doesn’t make sense, even though Noah is shooting an almost-respectable 30.4 percent on shots classified as mid-range, per I mean, just look at that thing. If that’s going to go in, then most of the world can’t make sense.


So what I’m saying is, yes, I can see how this would cause a crisis of confidence among the Bulls’ opponents. Seeing that go in, knowing the work they themselves put in to making sure their jumper is NBA-ready, knowing their coach probably told them to let Noah take that shot but that they still gave up a basket to the punchless Bulls — it must be, to use Joakim’s word, demoralizing. It might even make a player question everything they’ve ever known about the sport, because if Joakim Noah can make it this far with that jumper, then something must be wrong.


And I guess that is a compliment? I don’t know really. Using your own ugly jumper as a weapon is a strange proposition, but if it works, it works. More ugly jumpers for everyone!

Jimmy Butler has a giant, customized truck

, on January 27, 2014 , 3:00PM

jimmy butler big truck


We’ve known for a minute now that Jimmy Butler is one of the most country dudes in the NBA, but it looks like that even extends to his vehicles. Because besides the murdered-out paint job, custom Twitter handle on the grill and general cleanliness of the exterior, Butler’s pickup looks like it’d be right at home on any ranch from here to San Jose.


And when it’s dirty, like it is now thanks to a brutal Chicago winter which has lead to some serious slush action, it’s even more cowboy.



Crazy thing is, I don’t even think that’s the same truck as in the first picture. And if it isn’t, that means Jimmy Butler has TWO gigantic pickup trucks for cruising around Chicago. He’s 6-foot-7, so the benefits of having an extended cab are pretty obvious. Plus, with weather like this, it must be nice to know you’re sitting so much higher than all the muck. The splash when you step down from those heights must be pretty substantial though. But when you’re always wearing cowboy boots, I guess that’s not of much concern.

Tony Snell’s mom still braids his hair

, on January 23, 2014 , 3:00PM

tony snell dribbling


We’ve all heard story after story after story about an NBA player getting to the league, setting up shop in whatever city his team plays in and then bringing along family and friends to ease the transition from college to the pros. That’s well-worn territory at this point.


However, most NBA rookies these days don’t have cornrows, as the pre-eminent look of the early 2000s has unfortunately faded from popularity in the past few years. But that’s where these two stories converge, as Tony Snell is that rare rookie who both has cornrows and a support system around him to make NBA life easier. “Why do the cornrows matter?,” you might be wondering. Well, because of this, from ChicagoSide Sports:


[Sherika Brown, Tony Snell's mother] and the rest of the family have since re-located to Chicago. Snell is spending his first NBA season living with his family in Highland Park — not quite Beverly Hills, but getting there. Mom makes him breakfast every morning (pancakes and eggs, no bacon), and braids his hair twice a week.


He plans to move out on his own next season, to a place of his own in the city.


“I have to grow up sooner or later,” he says, “and cut my hair.”


As a bro who is very close with his own mother, and who let his mom do his hair for the first 20-something years of his life, let me just say that I whole-heartedly endorse this. Not only is it very cost-conscious (especially for twice-a-week braiding sessions), but I think we can all agree that finding and having a hairdresser whom you are comfortable with can be a bit of a challenge. A challenge, however, that’s completely negated when said hairdresser is your own mom. It really makes it easy to get things fixed if you’re unhappy with your do. Trust me.


Not to mention, it should be mentioned that Tony Snell’s mom just seems awesome in general. To wit:


Brown had never been on a plane until she flew to Albuquerque to do a campus visit with Snell.


“I don’t believe in planes,” she said. “It was the scariest s–t in my life. Have you ever been on a plane with someone for the first time, and they are ‘aw’-ing and ‘oooh’-ing? I was so f—ing afraid.”


And also:


His performance in Las Vegas cemented it, but he would have to clear one final hurdle, an aggressive push by then-Lobo coach Steve Alford to keep his best shooter on the team for another season. According to Brown, when Alford heard Snell was leaning to the NBA, he angrily called a meeting with player and mother.




Brown inferred selfish motives in Alford’s efforts. Alford was the brand-name player, the white All-American with the charmed high school and college careers. He played his senior year at Indiana and ended up getting drafted in the second round.


“I called him a m———–r at the time,” says Brown.


Mrs. Quotes over here, getting all the zings in. Love it. I mean, it’s hard to blame Tony Snell for living with his mom when she’s this funny and also serves as his own personal braidstress. Seems like the total package mom-wise, as far as I’m concerned.


(via Ricky O’Donnell)