All Bull - Chicago Bulls
It's not unusual for NBA players to stop by the opposing locker room after games, usually to greet former teammates.
Joakim Noah met some resistance, though, when he walked into the Oklahoma City locker room after Thursday's 107-95 loss. Noah was there to greet former Bull and fellow French speaker Thabo Sefolosha, no doubt. But he was stopped by a former enemy from Boston, Thunder center Kendrick Perkins.
There were still players and reporters in the locker room at the time, so plenty of witnesses to the verbal exchange between Noah and Perkins. Anthony Slater from The Oklahoman sent this account:
Perkins: "They just let anybody in the locker room?"
Noah: "Come on, man."
Perkins: "I'm just asking."
Noah: "Come on, man."
Perkins: "Just let anyone in the locker room now?"
The Bulls officially signed point guard D.J. Augustin on Friday, a move that had been expected for a few days. He is expected to be in uniform for tonight's game at Milwaukee.
The Bulls host Augustin's old team, Toronto, on Saturday. He was waived by the Raptors to make room for the players acquired from Sacramento in the Rudy Gay trade.
Augustin, 26, wasn't playing much for Toronto. He appeared in 10 of 19 games, averaging 2.1 points. Not long ago, he was producing good numbers for the Charlotte Bobcats. During his third NBA season in 2010-11, he averaged 14.4 points and 6.1 assists.
The Bulls had yet another injury surprise waiting before Tuesday's game against Milwaukee at the United Center.
Center Joakim Noah will not play because of a knee contusion. He was out on the floor shooting baskets after Monday's practice, so it's unclear when this injury happened.
Luol Deng (sore left Achilles) and Jimmy Butler (turf toe) won't play tonight. If veteran point guard Mike James is available -- he's supposed to be recovered from a knee sprain -- the Bulls will have nine healthy players against the Bucks. Carlos Boozer is the only starter from the regular season opener who will be in the lineup tonight.
UPDATE: Luol Deng will not play vs. the Pistons. Taj Gibson is expected to start.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters at shootaround that forward Luol Deng is a game-time decision with a calf injury. The Bulls host Detroit on Saturday at the United Center.
Thibodeau initially did not mention Deng's injury, then Joakim Noah told reporters Deng might not play because of an Achilles injury.
Deng has been rolling lately. In the last five games, he averaging 27.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, 6.0 assists and shooting 53.2 percent from the field.
If Deng can't play, the Bulls would presumably start Mike Dunleavy and Tony Snell at the wing spots. Jimmy Butler is still not ready to return from a turf toe injury.
The Bulls have lost former MVP Derrick Rose to another season-ending knee injury. It's tough to take, but plenty of other NBA teams have endured some rotten luck. Some bounced back, other didn't. Here's a list of bad luck NBA teams of the past 30 years:
1984 Portland Trail Blazers
Bad luck: Chose injury-prone Sam Bowie instead of Michael Jordan in ’84 draft.
Outcome: Reached Finals in ’90 and ’92, but no titles.
1984-85 New York Knicks
Bad luck: After averaging 32.9 points, Bernard King played in just 6 games over the next two seasons because of knee injuries.
Outcome: Won the first draft lottery and selected Patrick Ewing.
1984-85 Indiana Pacers
Joakim Noah takes a ride on the NBA on ESPN recreational vehicle.
At Friday's shootaround, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau announced plans to shut down Joakim Noah for a week. Noah is still having issues with a groin strain and the team wants to make sure he's healthy for the start of the regular season.
Noah suffered the injury early in training camp and sat out the first three preseason games. He returned to the court on Wednesday against Detroit, producing 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks and 2 points in 20 minutes of action.
Thibodeau said Jimmy Butler is a game-time decision with a bruised knee. He sat out Wednesday's game.
The Bulls play Indiana tonight at the United Center, then have three preseason games remaining before opening the regular season on Oct. 29 at Miami.
LeBron James has shut down talk about his potential free agency in 2014, but New York's Carmelo Anthony is talking it up.
Like James, Anthony could opt out of his contract next summer and hit the open market.
"I want to be a free agent," Anthony told the New York Observer. "I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It's like you have an evaluation period. It's like if I'm in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience."
Following Monday's preseason game in St. Louis, Derrick Rose talked about coach Tom Thibodeau's practice demeanor, compared to his sideline demeanor, which is often angry.
“I think in games, he knows that there’s TV and people around," Rose said, according to CSNChicago.com. "In practice, it’s just us, no cameras, no nothing, so it gets very, very crazy in practice."
The Bulls beat Memphis 106-87 on Monday to improve to 2-0 in preseason. Next up is a four-day trip to Rio de Janeiro. The team was scheduled to depart late Tuesday night and will face Washington on Saturday for the NBA's first South American game.
INDIANAPOLIS -- For anyone who missed it, or wants to relive it, here’s a detailed account of Derrick Rose’s return to NBA action on Saturday against Indiana.
--Bulls fans were plentiful at Bankers Life Arena, but not a majority. The atmosphere was nothing like Game 4 of the 2011 playoffs, when Bulls fans made up at least 67 percent of the crowd. Also, plenty of empty seats or the
--Rose was introduced second, after Jimmy Butler, which seemed to catch the Bulls fans by surprise. The cheer was delayed slightly.
--Bulls fans explode the first time Rose touches the ball on offense. Maybe there are more Bulls fans here than I thought.