Shaquille O’Neal Explains His Flat-Earther Comments

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NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal made some waves lately for his flat-Earther comments. Over All-Star weekend, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar Kyrie Irving revealed that he believes the Earth is flat. To make matters worse, we also learned that Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green isn’t convinced the Earth is round. Green said even doubts the authenticity of satellite photos which convey the Earth’s shape.

The week reminded us of a few years ago when we learned L.A. Clippers superstar Blake Griffin is a creationist. So there you go- not one, but three big name NBA players who don’t believe in basic, pure science.

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2017 NBA Draft Early Entrants, Returning to School List

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The NCAA passed a new rule last year that gives any early entries until ten days after the 2017 NBA Draft Combine to announce their intention to return to school, as long as they haven’t already hired an agent. This is a change from previous years in which college players had to decide if they were staying in the draft prior to the combine. Therefore, expect to see a ton of non-seniors “test the waters” only to ultimately return to school.

Here is a list of college basketball players who have already declared for the 2017 NBA Draft or announced they are returning to school.

CLICK HERE FOR THE SPORTS BANK’S 2017 NBA MOCK DRAFT.

UPDATED: 3/23/17

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NBA Mock Draft First Round 3/24/17

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Here is The Sports Bank’s 2017 NBA Mock Draft.

(Updated: 3/23/17) Here is the link to the NFL mock draft

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NBA Mock Draft Second Round 3/24/17

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Here is The Sports Bank’s 2017 NBA Mock Draft.  Outstanding trades have not been taken into account with the second round.

(Updated: 3/23/17)

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Former Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause Passes Away at Age 77

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Jerry Krause, architect of the Chicago Bulls 1990s super-dynasty passed away Tuesday. The former Chicago Bulls General Manager and White Sox scout, who died from persistent health issues, including osteomyelitis, was 77. He retired last spring from his scouting job with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Here’s a Tweet from the Chicago Tribune’s Bulls beat reporter K.C. Johnson. Below that is a Tweet from the Tribune’s Mark Gonzalez, who covered Jerry Krause during his days with the Sox.

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Chicago Bulls Lose Dwyane Wade for the rest of the Season

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Chicago Bulls superstar and local product Dwyane Wade will miss the rest of the season, an official team press release said. According to the club, results of an MRI showed a sprain and a small fracture in his right elbow, which will sideline him for the rest of the 2016-17 regular season.

There is a possibility that he could return for the NBA playoffs, but that’s a strong doubt given a.) how the Bulls season has resulted thus far and b.) how one could forecast their performance down the stretch here without D. Wade.

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Summer Status of Jimmy Butler Will Define Chicago Bulls General Direction

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The Chicago Bulls have to decide what they want to be. Are they going to start over and move towards building a true championship contender? Or just remain content being an astounding commercial success with a mediocre at best on-court product.

The status of Jimmy Butler will define that direction. The NBA trade deadline came and went and Jimmy G. Buckets is still here.

It’s not too surprising because the Bulls will likely have better deals available this summer than they did this past week.

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Deron Williams Officially Joins Cavaliers; NBA Pundits and Legends React

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What a week for Dallas Mavericks point guard Deron Williams. First he’s inducted into the inaugural class of the University of Illinois athletics Hall of Fame. The next day he moves from a team going absolutely nowhere to a leading NBA title contender.

Now that Williams has officially joined the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, here is a collection of what some of the leading NBA pundits and legendary former players have had to say about the deal.

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Chicago Bulls Lack a Genuine Identity; Big Changes Must Come Eventually

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This past summer Chicago Bulls GM Gar Forman claimed the team was going “younger and more athletic.” Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, E’Twaunn Moore and Aaron Brooks out.

Robin Lopez, Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo and Jerian Grant in.

Younger and more athletic? Only if you believe in alternative facts. This Chicago Bulls team needs another major overhaul this summer, to even remotely be considered “younger and more athletic.”

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NBA All-Star Weekend Needs to Finally Return to Chicago in 2018

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The NBA All-Star Game was inaugurated in 1951, but hasn’t been played in Chicago since 1988. The second city, as much of a hoops haven as any destination in America, has only hosted it twice (1973 was the other occasion). The 2017 NBA All-Star weekend, commencing tonight with the Rising Stars Game, was originally awarded to Charlotte, North Carolina.

On March 23, 2016, North Carolina passed House Bill 2, commonly known as “the bathroom bill.” This led to the NBA threatening to pull the game from Charlotte if the bigoted bill was not repealed or revised so as to not discriminate against the LGBT community. The state of North Carolina kept their discriminatory law in place, and the NBA announced on July 21, 2016 that the game would be moved from Charlotte to New Orleans.

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Former Illini Center Meyers Leonard Expanding His Role with Portland Trail Blazers

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Meyers Leonard currently wears #11 for the Portland Trail Blazers, and it matches the sequence in which he was selected in the 2012 NBA Draft. Leonard was taken in the lottery, #11 overall, out of Illinois and no Illini has been taken in the NBA Draft since. Demetri McCamey, Jereme Richmond and Brandon Paul all earned combine invites, but none of them were drafted.

Malcolm Hill may or may not be selected this June, and if he does here his name called, it won’t be until the mid-to-late second round.

However, Meyers Leonard is an interesting, fantastic Illini basketball story however and gives the Illinois fan something else to follow this winter when seeking a change of pace from speculating on the future of John Groce, and who might be replacing him.

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Chicago Bulls Must Realize Where Denzel Valentine Fits, at Point Guard

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NBA Draft Lottery picks are not meant to be sent back and forth between the parent club and the D-League franchise. Denzel Valentine, the 2016 College Basketball Player of the Year Award winner, does not belong at the Sears Center.

Unless suburban big box mart shopping is his thing, the 14th overall selection in the NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls should not be spending substantial time near the giant IKEA in Schaumburg, or the homogenized office parks that dominated the edge city landscape of Hoffman Estates.

Zel has fallen so far down Coach Fred Hoiberg’s rotation that the Bulls second round pick, Paul Zipser, has a much better and more defined role with the team.

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