Thibodeau, Bulls ready for opener with healthy Hinrich

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Thibodeau, Bulls ready for opener with healthy Hinrich

DEERFIELD, ILL.First, the good news. Starting point guard Kirk Hinrich will play in the Bulls regular-season opener, apparently with no limitations in the wake of the strained right-groin injury he suffered in the preseason, according to Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Hes fine, the coach said after the teams Tuesday-morning shootaround at the Berto Center. Hes been fine the last two days in practice, so hes good.

Thibodeau has been pleased with how Hinrich has picked up a system thats changed since his original stint in Chicago. Although he was sidelined for two exhibition contestshe also missed a game with a right-thumb injuryHinrich appeared rejuvenated in his return to the Bulls during the preseason.

You judge your point guard by how the team is functioning and so, I thought he set the tone on offense and defense for us. The ball pressure was good, his help defense was good, he kept us organized, he played with a good pace, his willingness to read matchups, read the extra pass, the ability to understand what everybodys strengths and weaknesses are. I thought he had a very good preseason, Thibodeau said. Hes been around. Hes hard-working, hes tough. He gets in early, he stays late. Hes done a good job.

Now, the negative situation surrounding the Bulls on Halloween. The organization has an 11 p.m. Central time deadline to reach an agreement with valuable reserve Taj Gibson on a long-term contract extension.

The desire for Gibson to remain in Chicago is mutual, but the two sides have had a gap when it comes to closing the deal, though it should be noted that the Bulls would be able to match opposing offers next summer, if the fourth-year player were to hit the open market. Thibodeau believes Gibson is doing a good job of not letting the ongoing negotiations between the franchises front office and his Chicago-based agent, Mark Bartelstein, affect his play.

Hes handled it well. Hes just focused on playing, Thibodeau said of Gibson, whose peers in the 2009 draft class have found it hard to get extensions, though Golden States Stephen Curry reportedly reached a deal Tuesday morning and Denvers Ty Lawson, another point guard, agreed to terms Monday. Thats the business side and his agent will take care of that for him. Hes done a good job in practice and getting ready.

As for the Bulls opponent Tuesday, the Sacramento Kings, Thibodeau isnt underestimating the young team. Despite a mediocre record last season and low expectations for this campaign, Thibodeau lauded their talent and depth.

Theyre dangerous. They can put a lot of points on the board and they have a lot of weapons. DeMarcus Cousins skill set is unique. Jason Thompson is very underrated. Former Bull James Johnson has gotten better every year in the league, he said. Former NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans can hurt you off the dribble, in the post, catch and shoot, athletic, runs the floor. Fellow Seattle native Nate Robinsons protg Isaiah Thomas, big-time scorer, had a great year as a rookie last year and they added Aaron Brooks, whos started a lot of games. Marcus Thornton is a big-time scorer off the bench. Travis Outlaws been a very good player in the league. Chuck Hayes is one of those guys I dont think you can ever measure him statistically; he can guard all five positions, hes a terrific passer, great rebounder. Thomas Robinsons a good young player.

This team, theyre very talented. Theyre talented, theyre deep and they can score. Were going to be challenged. We have to be ready.

While Evanswho is in the same boat as Gibson, but is reportedly seeking a max-level contract and is unlikely to receive onewas viewed as the future of the Kings after he drew Oscar Robertson comparisons as a rookie, Cousins has taken over that role. The volatile big man, who played alongside Gibson in July with the USA Select Team in Las Vegas, has quietly developed into one of the leagues top young post players.

Theres not much he cant do. He can face you up and he can shoot, he can post, he can pass. You dont realize how quick he is and athletic. On ball reversal, if youre not careful, hell jump out in the passing lane. He can handle the ball. Hes a basketball player, praised Thibodeau, using one of injured superstar Derrick Roses go-to phrases to describe a well-rounded player. Ive been very impressed with him.

While Thibodeau was pleased with some of his teams progress during the exhibition season, he still feels the team has a long way to go, regardless of its 5-2 preseason mark. The coach didnt go as far as using the old axiom that the preseason doesnt matter, but hes been focused on the Bulls being consistent.

Each game reveals something to you, but it doesnt stop. We want to keep evolving as it goes along, so youre going to learn more about how guys function together, what gives us our best chance, he said. That never ends and I think youre constantly studying and evaluating the team, and the game tells you the things youre doing well and the things youre not doing well, and for us, I dont want us to change what were doing. I want us to concentrate on improvement. I think we have an understanding of what we have to do to be successful and I want to make sure were moving in that direction every day.

Dan Hayes discusses Chris Sale incident on The Dan Patrick Show

Dan Hayes discusses Chris Sale incident on The Dan Patrick Show

CSN's White Sox Insider Dan Hayes joined The Dan Patrick Show on Monday to weigh in on the recent Chris Sale incident and what it means for the White Sox and Sale going forward as the Aug. 1 trade deadline approaches. 

The White Sox announced Sunday that Chris Sale is suspended for five days after reportedly being so furious over having to wear the team's 1976 throwback uniforms on Saturday that he cut them up so they couldn't be worn. Sale was scratched from his scheduled start and sent home by the White Sox.

Hayes called the incident "a little bit of a crazy story," saying that the way it all played out "went in an entirely different direction than everybody thought it would." While he didn't have many details regarding what actually took place in the White Sox clubhouse on Saturday, Hayes did say he heard "scissors were not the culprit."  

When asked if this impacts the likelihood of Sale being traded, Hayes was quick to say "I don't see it happening now. It's possible this offseason but right now they want a major league player back amongst the package and it's going to be hard for a team like the Rangers or the Red Sox to give you the star player back during a pennant chase."

However, Hayes didn't completely dismiss the idea of a trade taking place before the Aug. 1 deadline, saying "anything can happen, teams are motivated right now."

Hear what else Hayes had to say about Sale and the White Sox in the video above. 

CSN named the new official home of the Iowa High School Sports Network (IHSSN)

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CSN named the new official home of the Iowa High School Sports Network (IHSSN)

IHSSN to Produce and Provide Live coverage for three of the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s (IHSSA) State Championship Tournaments: Football, Wrestling, Basketball

CSN Chicago to Televise & Live Stream (via CSNChicago.com & IHSSN.com) 33 Iowa High School State Championship Events, which totals over 85 hours of exciting LIVE tournament action featuring -- LIVE COVERAGE of 12 semi-final games and 6 final games of IHSAA Championship Football -- LIVE COVERAGE of the Class 1A, 2A and 3A semi-finals and finals of IHSAA Individual Championship Wrestling -- and LIVE COVERAGE for 8 semi-final games and 4 final games of IHSAA Championship Basketball!

CSN’s 2016-2017 IHSSN season begins with “bonus coverage” of the “4th Annual Channel Seed Ag Bowl,” which features the

Northeast Rebels squaring off with the Central DeWitt Sabers at Birney Field in DeWitt, Iowa. Game time is 7:00pm, Thursday, August 25th on CSN+

Chicago, IL (July 25, 2016) -- Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the television and digital home for the most in-depth coverage of the local and regional preps sports scene, along with the  Iowa High School Sports Network (IHSSN), have announced a long-term partnership agreement making the regional sports network the official home for 33 Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Championship events.  This equates to over 85 LIVE hours of dedicated Iowa preps sports championship coverage per scholastic year.  All events will also be presented in a high definition format.

The announcement was made by Phil Bedella, VP/GM of Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Ken Krogman, Owner/President of the IHSSN and Brett Nanninga, Associate Executive Director of the IHSAA.

Beginning this scholastic year (2016-17), Comcast SportsNet will be the exclusive television home for the following IHSAA Championship events (all events to also be live streamed via CSNChicago.com to authenticated Comcast SportsNet Chicago subscribers; IHSSN.com will provide direct links to live streamed events on CSN Chicago digital platforms):

IHSAA Football Championships (18 games)

  • LIVE - Twelve playoff semifinal match-ups leading up to the state championships (November 10-12)
  • LIVE - Six (8-Player & Class A through 4A) state championship games (November 17-18)
  • BONUS GAME NOTE: “4th Annual Channel Seed Ag Bowl” featuring Northeast Rebels at Central Dewitt Sabers (Thu, August 25 at 7pm on CSN+)

IHSAA Individual Wrestling Championships (3 events)

  • LIVE - Class 1A/2A & 3A semifinals (February 17, 2017)
  • LIVE - Class 1A-3A championships (February 18, 2017)

IHSAA Basketball Championships (12 games)

  • LIVE - Eight playoff semifinal match-ups leading up to the state championships (March 9-10, 2017)
  • LIVE - Four (Class 1A-4A) state championship games (March 10-11, 2017)

NOTES:

  • Exact air dates/times/channel locations for all upcoming IHSSA Championship events appear at the end of this release. Schedule subject to change.
  • Viewers are also urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s “Channel Finder” page where they can plug in their zip code and find their local provider: http://www.csnchicago.com/channel-finder

“This is a significant moment not only for our network, but also for our viewers in Iowa,” said Bedella.  “With over 85 live hours of football, basketball, and wrestling championship coverage per scholastic year, fans will be able to watch these gifted student-athletes in HD from both a TV and live streaming standpoint.  CSN is proud to deliver these live IHSAA championship events to all of our cable and telco partners in the state of Iowa and, for the first time, these events will now be fully distributed through DIRECTV and DISH Network.  On behalf of Comcast SportsNet I would like to thank Ken Krogman from the Iowa High School Sports Network, along with the IHSAA’s Brett Nanninga and his team, for their tremendous assistance in solidifying this new partnership.”

“The IHSSN has worked with Comcast SportsNet in the past and have been impressed with all facets of their organization,” added Krogman.  “We are excited to now have a more permanent partnership not only because of the expanded coverage we will enjoy through their satellite distribution, but also their commitment to bring all of our events to our viewers in high definition.  We look forward to working with them and using their expertise to assist us to continue bringing the Iowa High School State Championships to all of Iowa and beyond”.

“On behalf of the IHSAA and our customer base throughout the state of Iowa and across the nation, I’d like to thank Comcast SportsNet for their on-air and digital distribution of the IHSAA High School State Championship Events,” said Nanninga.  “The comprehensive (digital HD) coverage that Comcast SportsNet offers to its affiliates is second to none in the high school market.  The IHSAA is extremely proud of the service/coverage that Comcast SportsNet offers the families and friends of Iowa high school student/athletes.  Together - Comcast SportsNet, the IHSSN, and the IHSAA - we have made it happen.”

2016-17 IHSAA EVENTS ON COMCAST SPORTSNET

(CSN & CSN+ DESIGNATIONS TO BE DETERMINED AT A LATER DATE; SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

       DATE                TIME             GAME                                                    CSN   

  1. Thu, Aug 25    7:00 pm       AG Bowl:  Northeast  vs Central Dewitt LIVE   CSN+
  2. Thu, Nov 10    9:00 am       Football:  8 Player Semifinal #1        LIVE
  3. Thu, Nov 10    12:00 pm     Football:  8 Player Semifinal #2        LIVE
  4. Thu, Nov 10    5:30 pm       Football:  Class 3A Semifinal #1       LIVE 
  5. Thu, Nov 10    8:00 pm       Football:  Class 3A Semifinal #2       LIVE 
  6. Fri, Nov 11      10:00 am     Football:  Class A Semifinal #1         LIVE
  7. Fri, Nov 11      1:00 pm       Football:  Class A Semifinal #2         LIVE
  8. Fri, Nov 11      4:00 pm       Football:  Class 4A Semifinal #1       LIVE 
  9. Fri, Nov 11      7:00 pm       Football:  Class 4A Semifinal #2       LIVE 
  10. Sat, Nov 12     10:00 am     Football:  Class 1A Semifinal #1       LIVE 
  11. Sat, Nov 12     1:00 pm       Football:  Class 1A Semifinal #2       LIVE 
  12. Sat, Nov 12     4:00 pm       Football:  Class 2A Semifinal #1       LIVE
  13. Sat, Nov 12     7:00 pm       Football:  Class 2A Semifinal #2       LIVE
  14. Thu, Nov 17    10:00 am     Football:  8 Player Championship     LIVE
  15. Thu, Nov 17    1:30 pm       Football:  Class A Championship      LIVE
  16. Thu, Nov 17    7:00 pm       Football:  Class 3A Championship    LIVE 
  17. Fri, Nov 18      11:00 am     Football:  Class 1A Championship    LIVE
  18. Fri, Nov 18      2:00 pm       Football:  Class 2A Championship    LIVE
  19. Fri, Nov 18      7:00 pm       Football:  Class 4A Championship    LIVE 
  20. Fri, Feb 17      3:30 pm       Wrestling:  Class 3A Semifinals        LIVE
  21. Fri, Feb 17      7:30 pm       Wrestling:  Class 1A & 2A Semifinals              LIVE 
  22. Sat, Feb 18     6:00 pm       Wrestling:  Class 1A/2A/3A Finals    LIVE
  23. Thu, Mar 9      10:30 am     Basketball:  Class 1A Semifinal #1   LIVE
  24. Thu, Mar 9      12:15 pm     Basketball:  Class 1A Semifinal #2   LIVE
  25. Thu, Mar 9      2:00 pm       Basketball:  Class 2A Semifinal #1   LIVE
  26. Thu, Mar 9      3:45 pm       Basketball:  Class 2A Semifinal #2   LIVE
  27. Thu, Mar 9      6:30 pm       Basketball:  Class 3A Semifinal #1   LIVE
  28. Thu, Mar 9      8:15 pm       Basketball:  Class 3A Semifinal #2   LIVE
  29. Fri, Mar 10      1:30 pm       Basketball:  Class 4A Semifinal #1   LIVE  CSN+
  30. Fri, Mar 10      3:15 pm       Basketball:  Class 4A Semifinal #2   LIVE  CSN+
  31. Fri, Mar 10      6:00 pm       Basketball:  Class 1A Championship LIVE  CSN+
  32. Fri, Mar 10      8:00 pm       Basketball:  Class 2A Championship LIVE  CSN+
  33. Sat, Mar 11     6:00 pm       Basketball:  Class 3A Championship LIVE  CSN+
  34. Sat, Mar 11     8:00 pm       Basketball:  Class 4A Championship LIVE  CSN+

All Times Central Time

Retirement suiting former White Sox star Paul Konerko well

Retirement suiting former White Sox star Paul Konerko well

Paul Konerko isn’t returning to manage the White Sox anytime soon, despite the team’s former All-Star first baseman fielding plenty of questions about the possibility. 

For now, the 40-year-old Konerko, who’s in Year 2 of retirement and will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Monday's Crosstown opener at U.S. Cellular Field, is more concerned with fielding the balls hit or thrown by his seven-year-old son while they’re playing baseball in the park. 

“I was in the park, my kid threw me a ball, a ground ball and I booted it,” Konerko said. “And some guy’s walking by the park and said, ‘you used to get that one, Paulie!’”

Konerko is spending plenty of time with his kids — Nicholas, Owen and Amelia — and is also keeping busy by playing a bit of hockey and working on a few business interests. One of those ventures is a T-shirt Konerko helped design, the proceeds of which go toward raising awareness for Sensory Processing Disorder, which Konerko’s oldest son, Nicholas, was born with. 

Nicholas was born during the White Sox 2005 run to the franchise’s first World Series title in 88 years, and Konerko’s other two children were born while he was still playing in the majors. Because he missed a good chunk of his kids’ childhoods during baseball’s marathon regular season, Konerko doesn’t have a desire to get back into the game until he accomplishes what he wants as a father. 

“I was gone for so long,” Konerko said. “I played for 20 years, and 10 years of that I had kids.” 

So a return to baseball won’t happen for Konerko “Until I feel like I’m satisfied with where they’re in a position where I’ve done everything they want to do and they’re older,” he said. 

Konerko doesn’t have an itch to coach or manage in the majors, too, thanks to his final season with the White Sox.

[SHOP: Buy a Paul Konerko jersey]

During that 2014 campaign, Konerko appeared in 81 games but also got a taste of what it’s like to be a major league coach. That glimpse into the life of a major league manager or assistant coach, and all the commitments, obligations and criticisms that come with it, led Konerko to walk away from the game “scared straight.”

“If I had not come back my last year, there’s a good chance I would’ve played out 2013 and probably got an itch to come back sooner,” Konerko said. “But my last year, I got a really good feeling of what it’s like to be a coach, because I was on the bench a lot, they kind of let me in on some things more, almost like a player-coach situation. And I think it scared me, because it’s not easy.” 

So while some sections of the White Sox fanbase may want Konerko to come back and manage a team that’s “mired in mediocrity,” as general manager Rick Hahn said last week, that’s not something the guy with 439 career home runs is going to consider. 

Plus, he actually does already have coaching duties right now. 

“I’m the assistant coach on my kid’s seven-year-old team,” Konerko said. “Trying to work toward the head coaching job.”