Where are they now? The 2004-05 Bulls: Ben Gordon

Ben Gordon was drafted by the Bulls in 2004, and he quickly left his mark on the franchise and fans. Gordon became the first player in NBA history to earn Sixth Man of the Year honors as a rookie. Today, he is out of the league.

Gordon played five very memorable seasons in Chicago. He became the Bulls all-time leader in 3-pointers made, passing Scottie Pippen (a record later broken by former 2004-05 teammate Kirk Hinrich).

Ben Gordon celebrates his game winning shot against the Knicks during his rookie year in 2005 - Credit: Jim McIsaac

Ben Gordon celebrates his game winning shot against the Knicks during his rookie year in 2005 – Credit: Jim McIsaac

Gordon was a fan favorite, playing his sixth man role to perfection in Chicago.

The University of Connecticut shooting guard was taken third overall. He quickly proved to be a dynamic scorer who was able to turn the tide of a game in a matter of minutes. As a Bull he shot 40 percent or better from 3-point range, far above the league average.

The 6-foot-2 guard was a prolific shot-maker during his time in Chicago. His run with the Bulls will be most remembered by his high-arching 3-point shots and even higher floaters. Gordon averaged 18.5 points per game with the Bulls.

Derrick Rose won the Rookie of the Year award in Gordon’s last season in Chicago, yet it was Gordon who led the Bulls in scoring, starting in a career high 76 games during 2008-09. He also led the team in scoring during their epic playoff series against the Boston Celtics.

His final year in Chicago earned Gordon a five-year, $50 million deal with the Pistons in 2009.

Over the last six years of his 11-year NBA career, Gordon averaged just over 10 points per game, starting in a combined 65 games. After leaving the Bulls he played for three different teams. During his last two seasons in the league, with the Hornets and the Magic respectively, he played in a total of 75 games averaging only 5.7 points per game in his limited playing time.

After the Magic declined to pick up Gordon’s team option, he spent the 2015 offseason trying to re-energize his body. The defending champion Warriors invited him to training camp. He played in only two preseason games before he was cut.

Gordon made $84 million during his playing career. Today, at 33, his NBA career is likely over. There is a chance Bulls fans could see Gordon play overseas, if he still has the itch.

If he does return to the hardwood, the man who for a brief time was known as Air Gordon is sure to dazzle fans with his patented rainbow 3-pointers. And maybe one of his infamous celebrations too (see above).

Posted in Chicago Bulls, NBA | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Video reaction: Despite their record the Bulls couldn’t be further away from the Cavaliers and Warriors

The NBA Finals begin tonight in Oakland. The outcome of the highly anticipated rematch will help shape the legacy of two of the best players in the league.

The Bulls could not be further away from the level the Cavaliers and Warriors are playing at, despite what their record against them might suggest. Yet, the Bulls can look to how these two teams play for some much-needed inspiration.

Posted in Chicago Bulls, NBA | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Where are they now? the 2004-05 Bulls: Andres Nocioni

Andres Nocioni played five seasons for the Bulls after being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2004. During his time in Chicago, the affable Argentine became a fan favorite, known for his hard-nosed play. Now, over a decade later, the 36-year-old is still leaving his mark on European basketball.

The 2004-05 Bulls had the club’s first winning season since Michael Jordan left. They finished 47-35, making the playoffs, before losing to the Wizards.

Andres Nocioni celebrates during 2007 the Bulls 4-0 first round series win against the Heat - CREDIT: (Jay Drowns/Sporting News)

Andres Nocioni celebrates during the Bulls 4-0 first round sweep against the Heat, in 2007 CREDIT: (Jay Drowns/Sporting News)

Nocioni was beloved by the city and his teammates. He began to garner NBA attention after his Argentinian team won the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics. More impressively, the 6-foot-8 small forward was named the MVP of the Spanish ACB along with earning All-Euroleague honors that same year.

He played nine seasons in the NBA, averaging a career-high 14.1 points per game during the 2006-07 season. His great play earned him a new contract with the Bulls.

After being traded to the Kings in 2009, his NBA career ended in Philadelphia in 2012, as he played in only only 11 games.

He returned to Spain later that year to play for Laboral Kutxa. Two years later, he signed with ACB and Euroleague power, Real Madrid.

Growing up in a small town in Argentina, Nocioni, or El Chapu as he is known in his native tongue, dreamed not of playing in the NBA, but in Europe. Seven years after his career ended in Chicago, Nocioni reached the pinnacle of European basketball, capturing the Euroleague title in 2015.

At 36, Nocioni is not just contributing to a winning team, he is leading one. He was awarded the Euroleague Final Four MVP. Playing a pivotal stretch big role, which was left vacant due to the departure of Nikola Mirotic.

The Spanish ACB is widely regarded as the best basketball league in the world, outside of the NBA. Even in the latter years of his career, Nocioni is among the highest-paid players in all of the Euroleague.

Nocioni had a very long NBA career, compared to the league average. Many Bulls fans gravitated towards his team-first winning mentality, so much so that some were calling for his return in 2012.

Bulls fans should rest easy knowing Noc is still bringing joy to basketball fans, and hopefully he will be able to continue to do so, for years to come.


Come back tomorrow, for the second edition of, Where are they now? the 2004-05 Bulls.

Posted in Chicago Bulls, NBA | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

20-second timeout: What you need to know about the Bulls athletic training staff shake-up

Chip Schaefer, the former Bulls head athletic trainer during the 1990s, will return to the Bulls next season according to a report by the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson.

Schaefer is finalizing a deal to join the strength and training staff, although his exact role is still unknown. He has a long and accomplished career in the NBA. He was the head athletic trainer in Chicago from 1990-98. He then followed Phil Jackson to the Lakers, where spent 12 years as their director of athletic performance. Most recently, he spent three years with the Kings, in the same role.

Jen Swanson was let go by the Bulls a few weeks ago. She was hired as the director of sports performance three years ago. She clashed with Tom Thibodeau, and didn’t help curb the injury problems in Chicago.

The Bulls also fired strength coach Nick Papendieck. His possible replacement, Travelle Gaines, has worked with hundreds of professional athletes and has strong ties to a few current Bulls, including Jimmy Butler.

Head athletic trainer Jeff Tanaka will be back next season. How could you not love this guy? The players certainly do.

Posted in Chicago Bulls, NBA | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The mysterious case of Bobby Portis’ Twitter feed

Bobby Portis has the potential to be a good NBA player, but his Twitter feed scares me.

We can all look past his indiscretions, long before he was drafted by the Bulls. (Word of advice for young people who are trying to go into any professional field later in life: don’t tweet extremely negative things about people who are excelling in your desired field).

Portis is a young and talented player who the Bulls are very high on. After a stellar preseason, many clamored to get him playing time. Aside from his sporadic play as a rookie, his retweeting of haters, and cryptic tweets about a range of subjects, is very alarming.

He has a lot of potential and he works very hard on the court. His whole feed is not egregious, but enough of it is.

This Storify post is here to let you decide, what exactly is going on with crazy eyes?

https://storify.com/benrains/the-mysterious-case-of-bobby-portis-twitter-feed

Posted in Chicago Bulls, NBA | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Video reaction: Western Conference finals, Westbrook and Rose

Russell Westbrook has been playing extremely well this postseason. His defensive intensity is off the charts. And he has solidified his spot as the most athletic point guard in the NBA. Derrick Rose might want to take some notes.

Posted in Chicago Bulls, NBA | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Best of: Bulls on social media, Instagram

This is the first installment of our Best of series. Now we will take a look at the best Instagram posts from Bulls players throughout this past season.

Below is the link to my Storify post.

https://storify.com/benrains/best-of-bulls-on-social-media-instagram

Here is a quick taste of what’s to come, before you click the link.

Napa with some hippies

A post shared by Joakim Noah (@stickity13) on

Posted in Chicago Bulls, NBA | Tagged , , | Leave a comment