AK's Former Team Makes the Finals, Has LeBron or MJ Been Swept More? Joakim's Impact, and Other Bulls Bullets

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AK’s Former Team Makes the Finals, Has LeBron or MJ Been Swept More? Joakim’s Impact, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

Arturas Karnisovas’ former employer is headed to their first-ever NBA Finals.

  • It’s kind of crazy to think that with both Karnisovas and former lead decision-making Tim Connelly gone, the Nuggets finally get over the hump. Those were two of the league’s more well-respected front-office faces. And, yet, each now has quite the uphill battle in front of them with their new franchises. Karnisvoas is trying to dig himself out of mediocrity after a failed “Big 3” experiment, while Connelly made possibly one of the worst trades in NBA history by sending basically five first-round picks to the Utah Jazz for Rudy Gobert. I know they can at least say they were part of Denver’s success, but no rings will come their way if Jokic and Co. pull it off. That’s got to sting a little.
  • Jokic is doing stuff that we haven’t seen since Wilt Chamberlain. Please, let that sink in! I know he may not be the flashiest player to watch, but he is one of the most dominant big men we have ever seen. Only a select few players in NBA history have been able to impact the game in as many areas as he has. I’ll be cheering for him to get his first well-deserved championship.

  • Also … LEBRON JAMES GOT SWEPT! Now, I’ll give him his props for putting together an absurd 31-point first half where he shot 11-13. I really did think he was going to single-handedly drag the Lakers to a victory and avoid the embarrassment of a winless conference Finals. Alas, he mustered just 9 points in the second half compared to Jokic’s 20. My GOAT would never!
  • LeBron James has now been swept in the playoff three times in his career. The first came in 2007 when the San Antonio Spurs needed just four games to beat his Cavaliers team in the NBA Finals. The second occurrence didn’t come until over a decade later when the Warriors took care of the Cavs in the NBA Finals in 2018. The third time, of course, was last night. So how does that compare to Michael Jordan?
  • Well, as much as I wish I could say the GOAT was never swept, that’s simply not true. The Celtics took down Jordan 3-0 in 1986 and replicated that in the first round of the 1987 playoffs. However, those are the only two times we saw that happen to His Airness.
  • James shocked everybody during his postgame press conference. The Lakers’ superstar hinted at retirement for the first time, stating that he’ll take some time to decide if he’ll be at training camp next season with LA. More on that here

  • Everyone knew where the ball was going at the end of the game. What a great job by both Aaron Gordon and Jamal Murray to keep James from getting off a clean look. Assuming Jimmy Butler finishes the job against the Celtics tonight, I can’t wait to see how Denver tries to contain him in the Finals.

  • Speaking of Butler, the NBA handed him a hefty fine for not speaking to the media after Game 3. I’m sure he’ll happily pay it with that Finals bounce check!

“To me, all that stuff [off court work] was the biggest blessing,” Noah told Garnett on KG Certified. “The most impactful stuff I ever did was not on a basketball court, it was working with these violence prevention groups. And really going in there, even though I didn’t come from that work, just really going in there and really listening and using my position as a Chicago Bulls player to do basketball tournaments, bring the guys together because it’s a divided city.”

  • If you need something to listen to while getting work done today, I highly recommend the full interview between Noah and Garnett. Great stuff.

  • Houston’s Jalen Green recently appeared on Paul George’s podcast and shared a great story about one of his first interactions with Michael Jordan. According to him, he was attending a Jordan came in San Diego as a child and rolled up to the gym with Adidas slides on. The GOAT proceeded to tell a very young Green that he needs to take his “weak ass Adidas slides” off. While that sounds like the epitome of the “f**k them kids” Jordan meme, he apparently did return with a pair of Jordan slides for the youngster. What a great memory.

  • Zach LaVine would have easily been an All-Star if he came into the season fully healthy.

  • Good advice!

  • Color me jealous.

Author: Elias Schuster

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