Billy Donovan's Career Success, DeMar DeRozan Keeps it Real, the GOAT's Shoes, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Billy Donovan’s Career Success, DeMar DeRozan Keeps it Real, the GOAT’s Shoes, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

The Mega Millions winner could be among us!

Congratulations to the nearby Chicagoan who just earned generational wealth. And, if reading yesterday’s bullets happened to remind you to purchase that ticket, I’ll gladly take a few million off your hands as a thank you.

  • Head coach Billy Donovan recently attended an event a Providence University to honor his 1987 Final Four team. He was joined by legendary head coach Rick Pitino, who Donovan has long praised for turning him into the basketball mind he is today. Pitino returned the favor when speaking with NCAA reporter Andy Katz about coaching Donovan back in the day: “Billy improved the most of any athlete I ever coached, and nobody was even close to him.”
  • Donovan’s NBA career may have been extremely short-lived, but I think Pitino’s words speak to his work ethic on and off the floor. We can forget that few active coaches have as impressive of a resume as the Bulls’ current leader. The guy won a ridiculous 70.9 percent of his games as a head coach at the college level, only finishing with a losing record in three of his 21 years of coaching. Then, he was immediately able to string together five-straight winning campaigns in the NBA, which included a trip to the NBA finals. Rarely – and his mentor Pitino is an good example – do we see college coaches transition to the NBA so smoothly, but I think it speaks to how truly unique and talented Donovan has turned out to be.
  • Donovan also spoke with Katz and touched briefly on the Chicago Bulls’ upcoming season. After applauding the additions of Goran Dragic and Andre Drummond (which … eh), he turned the conversation back to the team’s existing core. The Bulls are all-in on internal development, and he preached that message yet again:

“We really like our group of guys,” Donovan said. “Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, those guys have been great. Considering the fact that last time was the first time they all got a chance to play with each, [I’m] hoping we can be better. And I’m hoping that the health of Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso is good. But I do think that there is a lot for us to prove coming out of the All-Star break last year.”

  • The Bulls’ head coach also used some surprisingly encouraging words when talking about Lonzo Ball’s rehab:
  • You can watch Donovan’s full conversation below:
  • DeMar DeRozan didn’t mince words:
  1. I’m kind of surprised this quote has gotten as much attention as it has. I listened to the entire DeRozan interview on The Draymond Green Show, and this was just a light-hearted exchange between two friends. Green was discussing DeRozan’s free-agent process, and he mentioned that he did tell DeRozan he might as well come to the Warriors. DeRozan than laughed and agreed that his response last summer was of an expletive manner. But that kind of reaction to joining Green and Co. does make plenty of sense, especially when both had to know the kind of money DeRozan deserved wasn’t there nor the role.
  • Anyway, in case you missed it, here are some other great quotes from DeRozan’s interview with Green:
  • Not a bad point, Chuck. I don’t think this is taken into consideration enough when we talk about the two eras. While some want to say the top 90s talent couldn’t live in the 3-point era, are we sure some of today’s top talent could handle the old-school physicality?
  • Also, I just love how much Charles Barkley still defends Michael Jordan. Despite the two’s friendship falling a part, Barkley never fails to give Jordan his props and hold him above everyone else. You got to respect it.
  • A shoe from each of Jordan’s title-clinching games in one place. If I won that jackpot last night, I would have bought them all.
  • Another shameless reminder that the latest episode of Points in the Podcast is out. I had a really run conversation with fellow BNer Luis.
  • Uh, that is a huge package.
  • Yikes …

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.