Word on the Street: Pippen to be honored in bronze

Word on the Street: Pippen to be honored in bronze

Thursday, March 17, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Pippen to be honored in bronze

The Bulls will unveil a bronze bust of Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen at halftime of the Bulls' April 7 game against the Boston Celtics. The bust was created by Omri and Julie Rotblatt-Amrany, who also created the Michael Jordan statue outside the United Center. Pippen's bust will be permanently displayed inside the UC on the 100-level concourse by Gate 7.

"Words really can't express my feelings," Pippen said in a statement. "It's an unbelievable honor and truly amazing. It's something you dream of as a kid growing up, but you can never foresee those childhood fantasies becoming reality." (CSNChicago.com)

Mendenhall backs Peterson's slavery comments

Steelers running back, and ex-Illini star, Rashard Mendenhall tweeted his support for Adrian Peterson's analogy between the NFL's labor stance and slavery. Mendenhall said that "anyone with knowledge of the slave trade and the NFL" could see the parallel between them. Like Peterson, he received plenty of criticism for his stance, but took it in stride.

"If you look back and dissect what I said, I didn't say that the NFL was slavery, I said that they parallel each other," he tweeted. "Look up the word parallel. This means that they're not the same thing, but they run the same course. These paths will never cross, but they mirror each other." (USA Today)

Kings no more?

The decision has yet to be made as to where the Sacremento Kings franchise will call home next season. One thing, however, is certain; if they move to Anaheim, they will no longer be the Kings. Lawyers for the Maloof family, who own the franchise, filed federal trademark registrations for the names "Anaheim Royals," "Anaheim Royals of Southern California," "Orange County Royals," and "Los Angeles Royals."

Additionally, an unknown entity filed for the domain rights to "anaheimroyals.com" and "laroyals.com." (Sacramento Bee)

Fire sign midfielder

The Chicago Fire signed MLS SuperDraft pick Davis Paul on Thursday. Paul was selected in the third round, 51st overall, of the draft and will be added to the Fire's roster right away. The terms of his contract were not disclosed due to team and league policy.

"We've been pleased with Davis' skill, effort and attitude on-and-off the field," said Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas. "Davis is a creative player and a strong competitor with the ability to play up top and on the wing. (The Sports Network)

Hawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks' bottom six steps up in Colorado

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AP

Hawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks' bottom six steps up in Colorado

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Jamal Mayers discuss the bottom six carrying the Blackhawks to a come-from-behind win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

Later, Mayers weighs in on possible targets with the NHL trade deadline just six weeks away.

Listen to the latest episode of the Hawks Talk Podcast below:

Pro Football Focus gives Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman historical 2016 grade

Pro Football Focus gives Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman historical 2016 grade

Bears GM Ryan Pace struck gold with his signing of Jerrell Freeman last offseason.

Freeman, who signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Bears last March, was graded as the NFL's No. 1 inside linebacker in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus.

Freeman's 93.8 overall grade was PFF's third-highest defensive grade behind Los Angeles Rams All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald (95.6) and Oakland Raiders standout edge rusher Khalil Mack (93.9). 

Here's what PFF's Mike Renner had to say about Freeman's historic 2016 season:

One of the most impressive pure statistics any player amassed this season came from Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman. He made 40 tackles in coverage while missing only one tackle attempt. That ratio is insane, and it’s the best we’ve recorded since 2012. That’s about the only exciting stat, though, as the Bears’ front-seven desperately missed a fully-healthy Pernell McPhee for a good portion of the year.

Despite Freeman's outstanding season, he was left off of PFF's All-Pro Team for 2016. Although he was ranked ahead of Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner (91.6) and Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (92.9), PFF likely omitted Freeman due to him missing four games with a PED suspension.

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In his first season with the Bears, the 30-year-old Freeman led the team with 110 tackles (the next highest total was Harold Jones-Quartey's 78). Freeman also finished with a team-high 7 tackles for a loss. 

Check out a snapshot below of Freeman's PFF metrics from last season:

If there's any doubt about Freeman's play falling off after serving a suspension, he put that theory to rest. Freeman's second-best game grade came in Week 17 against the Minnesota Vikings (3.5). Freeman also had a positive grade (1.4) in his first game coming off the suspension against the Washington Redskins in Week 16.

"People know me," Freeman told the media after returning from suspension. "People know who I am. People know what I'm about. I wouldn't do that on purpose. I made a mistake and that's what it is. It's not like I was going out of my way to do something (illegal). But it happened. It's my fault and I take responsibility for it."