Blame Michael Jordan for Krause widow disgrace; Rudy Gobert trade finally paying off; Lakers need Zach LaVine

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Michael Jordan won a widow getting booed. My colleague Stephen Knox covered this yesterday, the booing of Jerry Krause’s widow Thelma during the Chicago Bulls’ Ring of Honor ceremony on Friday, and he isn’t wrong. It’s another “feather” in the “cap” of Jerry Reinsdorf, though he wouldn’t have been involved in the planning. And not counting on fans to act in the most boorish and imbecilic manner possible doesn’t mean the fans should be absolved for doing so. – Sam Fels Read More

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As usual, Jerry Reinsdorf failed to read the room. The Chicago Bulls are looking at a second-consecutive appearance in the Play-in Tournament, rounding out yet another rebuild on its disappointing last leg. Now is not the time to force more nostalgia on the fans, reminding them of an era many of them feel ended prematurely. Seeing who many still blame for the destruction of the Bulls’ dynasty—former general manager Jerry Krause — was not going to end well. – Stephen Knox Read More

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From the moment it happened in the summer of 2022, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ acquisition of Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz looked like an all-time terrible trade. But suddenly, the Timberwolves have the NBA’s second-best record, the best in the West, and the best defensive rating at 108 this season. And much of that is Gobert’s impact in the middle, averaging 13.1 PPG, 12.2 RPG, and 2.1 BPG with a 103.7 defensive rating, which harkens back to his Utah Jazz number and is a vast improvement over last season’s career-worst 109.5. The Wolves have become an elite defensive team, going from No. 10 a year ago to No. 1 in the defensive efficiency rankings. At 113.8, the Timberwolves’ defense last season fell just short of the league average (114.8). – Lee Escobedo Read More

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The NBA trade market is open for business and one team in particular would like you to know that it is jarringly open to offers. The Portland Trail Blazers might not have issued a news release saying as much, yet when your starting center misses a game due to too much ice, the telltale signs of rebuilding apathy have set in. – Sean Beckwith Read More

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In the void left behind by Bill Belichick, Joe Mazzulla’s introverted-ness has risen to the occasion. And no, I’m not talking about the Boston Celtics giving the New England area a front-runner they desperately need. Mazzulla is the boorish head coach of a major professional franchise that the affable Jerod Mayo isn’t. – DJ Dunson Read More

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WNBA’s free agency started this week, and while players can’t sign until Feb. 1, teams are allowed to be in conversation with them. Here are the top 10 players who are eligible free agents and some scenarios around what would happen if they re-sign or go somewhere else. – Cale Clinton Read More

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Golden State Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojević died Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski announced. He was 46. – Mackenzie Meaney Read More

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The word from ESPN insiders is that there is no chance Zach LaVine will be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. There have been issues with him and the Chicago Bulls dating back to early last season. Last week on NBA Today, Brian Windhorst said that if the Bulls could trade LaVine in a moment’s notice they would, and the explosive guard would be more than willing to go. On The Ringer NBA Show, Wosny Lambre has been saying for weeks that the Bulls have had it with LaVine. However, Windhorst said on the Monday episode of the Hoop Collective podcast that he believes there is a “zero percent chance” that the Lakers go after him. – Stephen Knox Read More

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Caitlin Clark eclipsed another scoring milestone Tuesday night, inching her one step closer to college basketball immortality. The Iowa Hawkeyes took care of business at home against Wisconsin, cruising to a 96-50 victory. Clark put up a game-high 32 points, passing Baylor’s Brittney Griner (3,283 points) for fourth on the all-time scoring list before the first half was even over. – Cale Clinton Read More

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Every other generation, a player changes how his position is taught, scouted and played. For the current generation of players entering their prime years, that dude is Nikola Jokić. The “Joker” has taken the passing acumen of former bigs Vlade Divac, Yao Ming, Bill Walton and Arvydas Sabonis and combined it with the physical assertion of Kevin McHale, Patrick Ewing and Tim Duncan to create something worthy of an epoch. But we’re not here to talk about Jokić. We’re here to talk about his acolyte, Alperen Şengün. The Houston Rockets’ third-year center and Turkish sensation is next in line of European players beginning to dominate the NBA landscape. – Lee Escobedo Read More

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