Kendall Gill on the Chicago Bulls NBA Draft, Illini Hoops (EXCLUSIVE)

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Fighting Illini legend and former Chicago Bull Kendall Gill just turned 50 a couple weeks ago, but he’s in as phenomenal physical shape as he’s ever been. Boxing is a big reason why, and Gill was going to box the day after we caught up to him- at the second annual Illini Athletics Hall of Fame gala. If you’re into boxing, and need a new heavy bag, see more about them at this product review site. Boxing is one of the best cardio activities that one can partake in. 

 “It’s one of my main workouts, it keeps me in good shape,” Gill told The Sports Bank during our exclusive interview, conducted at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

“Every now and then I play a little basketball. I get out there with the 40-and-overs and play.”

Kendall Gill also runs youth basketball camps these days, but his primary position is doing Chicago Bulls analysis for the local NBC cable station.  

The south suburban native (Rich Central high graduate) pulls no punches in his punditry.

“If it’s a bad situation I got to say it, if it’s a good situation then i’ll say that, and I think that’s why the fans here in Chicago respect my commentary,” said the NBA steals leader in 1999.

“I’m not a company guy all the time.”

Thursday is the NBA Draft, so Friday night was the perfect time to hear Gill assess the Bulls pick at #7 overall. There’s been a lot of momentum towards Mizzou one-and-done Michael Porter Jr., who in the interests of full disclosure, works out everyday at my gym, right here in Chicago. 

MICHAEL PORTER JR

It’s no secret the Bulls want him, but they’ve also been told he won’t still be there at 7, so they will have to trade up in order to obtain him.

“I believe they will have to trade up to get him, but I’m not a guy who would draft Michael Porter Jr., because of the back issues,” said Gill.

“Larry Johnson was a player who was the number one pick in the draft, and after a significant back injury he was never the same. This injury at such a young age for him to come back..so I’m going to go with the safe pick of Mikal Bridges from Villanova- two time national player of the year, great all around player.”

And what if Bridges is also not there at #7?

(Here’s the link to our latest NBA mock draft)

Kendall Gill would go with Wendell Carter Jr. from Duke, and he explained that selection thusly:

“He’s a safe pick, I would go with a safe pick at this point in the game, because I think the Bulls have their core, now they need to built id around those guys.”

The Bulls drafting a big school, brand name player? Yep, we can get definitely see that. They have certainly gone to the Duke well a few times in recent years.

Gill of course will always be remembered as one of the main stars of the 1989 Flyin’ Illini Final Four. He was the fifth overall pick of the 1990 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, and is the second highest pick in program history, having been surpassed only by Deron Williams (read his exclusive at this link).

When asked to assess the current Illini team, Gill offered this: “getting Ayo (Dosunmu, 5-star point guard from Morgan Park high school) to commit was definitely a step in the right direction, to keep our homegrown talent here.”

kendall gill

Gill then went on to point out how every single player, even the walk-ons, on the ’89 Illini roster was from the state of Illinois, and that keeping top tier talent at home will be the biggest key for the Illinois program.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

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