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."
As an assistant with Canada's Olympic team, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock is only one voice in the selection process.
The biggest voices belong to executive director Steve Yzerman and head coach Mike Babcock.
But if it means anything, Blackhawks winger Patrick Sharp has Hitchcock firmly in his corner when it comes to making the squad for the Games in Sochi, Russia next February.
"I think he's a guy who is obviously on the watch list close," Hitchcock said Thursday at the United Center. "He's a guy that you trust on the ice. So there's a trust factor, especially from me.
“I don't know how many voices I have in that program, but I love him as a person and like him as a player. He's a guy for me that based on his play in the last couple years is really up on the radar."
From the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum: "This might have come a touch late."
Have a good weekend.
Last week, the Friday politics column focused on a chat with U.S. Speaker Dennis Hastert and included a mention of the so-called "Hastert Rule" that some people cite as a key reason for Washington's gridlock over the shutdown.
This Washington Post video is a nifty explainer of the rule and Hastert's history with it.
Nikolai Khabibulin will make his Blackhawks re-debut Friday night when he gets the start in goal against the Islanders at the United Center.
It will be Khabibulin’s first game back with the Hawks since Game 3 of the 2009 Western Conference finals against Detroit. He re-signed with them as a free agent last summer for one year at $2 million after spending four years with Edmonton.
Because of the Hawks’ light early-season schedule, Khabibulin hasn’t played in a game this year since Sept. 28 against Washington in the exhibition finale.
As part of the House Republican leadership team, U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton is on the front lines of the ongoing government shutdown debate.
Roskam was in the minority party of the Illinois Senate in 2004 when state lawmakers blew a budget deadline by weeks, nearly jeopardizing top Democrats' attendance the party's nominating convention that year.
I went hunting for transcripts from those long summer sessions to see if Roskam said anything noteworthy on the Senate floor at the time. I found this speech from July 20, a few days before the impasse was settled.
Two suburban Republican incumbents announced their re-election campaigns for Illinois House today.
State Rep. Mike Tryon of Crystal Lake represents a district in southern McHenry County and Northern Kane. And state Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein represents a central Lake County district.
Both have been in the news lately. Tryon is the ranking Republican on the House Mass Transit committee, and he's asked for more meetings about the summer's Metra scandal.
Sullivan has told me before he expects to have a primary opponent following his saying he'll vote for same-sex marriage.
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.