Monday was one of the Bulls’ occasional autograph days. When practice ends, the players line up in a row of chairs in the weight room and sign a litany of objects, from basketballs to jerseys to photos to a giant Bulls logo that will probably be auctioned at a charity event someday.
I guess it’s nice to know the Bulls’ autographed items are authentic. After leaving college, I did an internship for a pro team that had a salesperson who would spend his last hour every day faking autographs. With that team, unless you actually saw the player sign something in front of your face, the signature probably wasn’t real. This was 20-plus years ago, so I have no idea if that sort of thing still goes on.
--No real news on Monday. Tyrus Thomas was in the building and signed his items during practice, but did not speak to the media. Coach Vinny Del Negro said Thomas’ left arm is in a sling and he’ll be reevaluated tomorrow.
I’ve heard that Thomas is expected to resume basketball activity very soon and the team is optimistic that he’ll be ready to play in early December.
--The funniest thing from practice happened during Del Negro’s talk with reporters. At one point, it sounded like he said, “Chris practiced today.” Everyone did a double-take, then asked if the Bulls re-signed power forward Chris Richard. Such a move would make sense, since Thomas’ injury leaves them with 10 healthy players. When asked, though, Del Negro reacted like he had no idea what he said and, no, Richard was not at practice.
After listening to the tape, someone decided that Del Negro must have said, “Crisp practice today.” So, never mind. But it’s still possible the Bulls will add another player.
--Tribune columnist Rick Morrissey showed up at practice carrying an old copy of his sports section and a jar of salsa. Apparently on draft night 2007, he wrote that if Joakim Noah becomes a useful player within three years, he’ll eat his column with salsa.
Well, Noah had 21 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocks in Saturday’s win over Charlotte, so Morrissey actually showed up to eat the column. I didn’t see it happen, but the stunt was videotaped and I’m sure the two-year old newsprint was delicious.
--The Bulls host Denver on Tuesday with a chance to go 3 games above .500 in November for the first time since 1997-98.
Kenyon Martin is questionable with a bruised fibula. The Nuggets feared that his leg was broken last weekend, but it’s not. Shooting guard J.R. Smith, who has lit up the Bulls in the past, will play for the first time after completing a seven-game suspension for pleading guilty to reckless driving.
Carmelo Anthony is averaging 31.4 points per game and the Nuggets are averaging 109.3 as a team.