Friday, May 22, 2009

Quick hit links

Re-signing BG is a priority for the new GM -

Re-signing guard Ben Gordon will be the top priority of new Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman heading into the offseason.

Forman met with reporters on Thursday, a day after being promoted to his new position, and he said he believes Gordon wants to stay in Chicago.

"There's still a lot of steps until we get to that point," Forman added.

Gordon, who becomes a free agent on July 1, played a key role in the Bulls' impressive performance against the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. The Celtics won the seven-game series that featured four overtime games.

Forman replaced John Paxson, who will remain with the Bulls as executive vice president of basketball operations. Forman is in charge of day-to-day basketball decisions, while Paxson will deal mostly with long-term organizational planning and talent evaluation.

Forman was on several college coaching staffs before joining the Bulls as a scout after the 1997-98 season.

"One thing I can tell you about Gar is that in the time we've worked together he's very organized, very detailed," Paxson said. "Growing up in basketball, he has coached and scouted and has very, very good eyes for talent and evaluation."

Paxson has been criticized for some of the decisions he made as general manager from 2003 to 2009. A trade he made last year, however, helped the team solidify around overall No. 1 draft pick Derrick Rose.

John Salmons and Brad Miller were acquired from Sacramento for Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden, Michael Ruffin and Cedric Simmons.

"Our goal is going to be to bring back the core of this roster, this playoff roster for next season," Forman said.

Chicago sports bucket list -

11. Watch Michael Jordan hoop at Foster Park.

A random weekend visit to this South Side gym can turn into a special treat, because it's the place where MJ still shows and proves that he can't be messed with. Bad finger and all, "$" often runs with a collection of the best players to ever come out of the city. But this isn't the PG-13 Jordan; this is the R-rated version. His words to those who try to guard him are often just as vicious as his jump shot. Keep the kids at home.

Bill Simmons mailbag

8. Current NBA players as first-Ballot Hall of Famers ... 9.5

Kobe, Iverson, Duncan, Nowitzki, Nash, LeBron, Garnett, Kidd and Shaq, for sure. That's nine. Of the young guys, Paul, Howard, Rose, Durant, Melo and Dwyane Wade have the best chance (in that order), but I wouldn't bet my life on any of them because it's so early. Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Chauncey Billups and even Tracy McGrady have long-shot chances for the first ballot depending on how their next few postseasons play out. That's about it. So basically, I'd have to nail one of those last 10 guys I just mentioned to win my bet? Yes. I'm in. Over.

I think Rose will be a no-doubt-about-it first ballot Hall of Famer!

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