Interesting Bulls news was already hard to come by, but with the NBA completely suspended for the foreseeable future, this is truly going to be difficult. Alas, I took an oath to always serve the people while I rested my hand on the Wrigley Field mound during our Bleacher Nation initiation ceremony (which is definitely a real thing)!
No matter what happens, we’re determined to keep pushing out content. I would just tell you to expect a bit more general basketball news than Bulls-specific news (though we’ll, of course, be on that whenever it presents itself).
Okay, bullets time!
- I think we can all agree the NBA had to shut down. With the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the country, it was only a matter of time before a player caught the virus. Rudy Gobert was the first domino to fall and teammate Donovan Mitchell followed soon after. However, yesterday, Christian Wood became the first player not on the Jazz to test positive for the virus. The Detriot Pistons big man guarded Rudy Gobert on March 7th, but to this point is showing no symptoms DESPITE a positive test.
Detroit Pistons‘ Christian Wood has tested positive for coronavirus, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Wood had 30 and 11 rebounds against Rudy Gobert on Saturday night before a career-high 32 on Wednesday.
Sources say Wood has shown no symptoms and is doing well.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 15, 2020
- At the end of the day, it isn’t Gobert’s fault for contracting the virus, but it’ll certainly take a while for him to get back on many people’s good side based on the jokes he made publicly about the virus before testing positive. Rumor has it Mitchell is very frustrated with his starting center, and I wouldn’t surprised to learn other teammates feel the same way. Regardless, Gobert seems to already be taking the necessary steps forward to try and clear his name. Yesterday, he donated a total of $500,000 to COVID-19 relief. According to ESPN, $200,000 will go to the Vivint Smart Home Arena to help pay day-of-game staff members during the league’s hiatus, while the rest of the money will be split between Oklahoma and France families who are impacted by the virus. I commend Gobert for his generosity, and I hope we can all learn something from this experience (while we sit inside, binge Netflix, and touch nobody … BE SMART).
— NBA (@NBA) March 15, 2020
- Also, several other organizations and players around the league have also stepped up to support their arena staff members, including the Chicago Bulls, who made the announcement yesterday.
That’s More Like It: Bulls Will Pay All Day-Of-Game Employees During Hiatushttps://t.co/FKWLwRXGjP
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) March 14, 2020
- You know you really miss basketball when you want to relive some of the Bulls season. In all fairness though, Rob Schaefer’s latest for NBC Sports Chicago is a good reminder that it wasn’t all bad this season.
As we all find our footing in the basketball-less hellscape that will soon become the norm, here are some fun Bulls moments from the 2019-20 season to relive: https://t.co/u7zQjXLhuJ
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) March 15, 2020
- Coby White is kind of all of us.
- I’m still 125% behind this! DO IT, YOU COWARDS!
We all need to petition ESPN to release that MJ/Bulls doc while there are no games.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) March 13, 2020
- The NCAA was still considering a release of a 2020 NCAA Tournament Bracket as recently as Friday, but unfortunately that idea has since been squashed: “No plans to do that,” David Worlock, the tournament’s media coordinator, told ESPN on Friday. “We hardly started the process. The priority for committee members then was to return home to tend to affairs on campus or conference offices.”
- The tournament itself will obviously not be happening in either case, but it would have been wonderful if college players across the country could at least somewhat experience the feeling of a selection Sunday. A former Illini myself, I know I’d love to see that team (who hasn’t made the tourney in seven years) be rewarded with that moment. And I’m not alone in that sentiment: “My hope is that they have a selection Sunday and Auburn hears its name called,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said on SportsCenter on Thursday. “Our name doesn’t get called very often and when we put ourselves in position this year again to hear our name called and go play for a national championship.”
- DUN DUN DUN!!! Former NBA and College head coach Rick Pitino is officially making his return to the U.S. basketball scene. Jon Rothstein announced yesterday that Pitino will soon be at the helm of the Iona Gaels. How soon until he does something super against the rules?
BREAKING: Iona will hire Rick Pitino as its next head basketball coach, per Gaels' Athletic Director Matt Glovaski.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 14, 2020
- Just the NCAA being stupid again …
In 2004, NCAA foresaw a D-1 men's basketball tournament being canceled someday. It began a reserve that grew to nearly $400M. In 2016, the Board of Governors sent part to D-1 schools to help with rising costs, then used rest to pay for legal settlement: https://t.co/yr11NVtx19
— Steve Berkowitz (@ByBerkowitz) March 14, 2020
- A personal plea … make good decision, y’all. I want sports back ASAP.
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: Due to concerns around St. Patrick’s Day festivities, the City is enforcing all businesses that sell liquor to have less than half of their regular max capacity. Additionally, any establishments that sell liquor will have a max capacity of 100 people. pic.twitter.com/1KVThcAjQT
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) March 15, 2020