Kobe the heir to Jordan's throne?

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Kobe the heir to Jordan's throne?

Since his retirement from the NBA, fans and players have been searching for someone big enough to fill Michael Jordan's shoes. The name that consistently pops up as of late is Kobe Bryant, even from the mouth of Jordan himself.

Roland Lazenby is a basketball writer - who wrote "Mad Game" about Bryant - and is working on a Michael Jordan biography. ProBasketballTalk found his Tweet saying, "Kobe's ultimate competition is MJ. That's why MJ watches him. MJ made people think what he was doing wasn't human. Ditto to the Kobester."

Lazenby added in another Tweet, "I never said Kobe was better than MJ. MJ just told me Kobe's the only one to have done the work, to deserve comparison."

Lazenby has been spending a lot of time comparing Bryant to Jordan on his Twitter feed saying that Bryant really is the most comparable to the former Bulls great.

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Roland Lazenby MJ definitely liked to follow Kobe's efforts in the triangle offense. It was a trip down memory lane. Like looking at himself in some ways.
Jan 18 via web Favorite Retweet Reply

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Roland Lazenby Kobe's MJ like in that his every action sets way high standards for teammates. Sometimes impossibly high. It was tough when Kobe was a teen
Jan 15 via web Favorite Retweet Reply
Lakers assistant coach Chuck Person also believes Bryant deserves to stand side-by-side with Jordan.

In an interview with SI.com Person said that Bryant "is lethal to the 10th power. This guy has an unending thirst for winning, and he shows it in practice every day - when he's able to."

Person also added that he feels like Jordan was on a level by himself but "the closest guy next to him his Kobe."

What do you think? Is Bryant the next Jordan? Is it fair to compare the two?

Sports Business Insider: Mark Cuban for Vice President?

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Sports Business Insider: Mark Cuban for Vice President?

Mark Cuban for Vice President?

It may not be as far-fetched as you think.

The Dallas Mavericks owner admitted it's too late to run for president, but he did offer his canidacy for vice president for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

Check out the latest Sports Business Insider video above

NBA Draft: Will Bulls try a major trade?

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NBA Draft: Will Bulls try a major trade?

Now that Tuesday’s uneventful draft lottery is in the books (all teams holding their pre-lottery positions for the first time), the Bulls are left with the 14th pick in Round 1 of what most experts consider to be a below average talent pool.

Sure, there could be some useful players available in that range like point guards Demetrius Jackson of Notre Dame and Wade Baldwin of Vanderbilt, plus project big men like Domantas Sabonis (son of Hall of Famer Arvydas), Skal Labissiere, Deyonta Davis and Diamond Stone. But if the Bulls really want to change over the roster, they’ll need to do something bold.

Anyone who’s watched the Cavaliers storm through this year’s playoffs will safely conclude LeBron James and Co. figure to own the Eastern Conference for the next 3-5 years since Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson are all signed to long term deals, and James isn’t going anywhere. And, with Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah ready to become free agents on July 1st, followed by Derrick Rose in the summer of 2017, the Bulls’ core group that put them on the fringe of championship contention is gone.

So why not get started on the rebuild in a major way with a significant trade on draft night?

The front offices with the 76ers and Lakers have already expressed their desire to add All-Star caliber veterans to the roster instead of more young players. And, those teams also wound up with the top two picks in this year’s draft. So why not explore what the Sixers and Lakers are willing to give up for a two-time All-Star like Jimmy Butler?

Philadelphia has drafted three young bigs in recent years, and might be willing to include Chicago native Jahlil Okafor in a possible deal. Would the Sixers be willing to trade the top pick and Okafor for Butler, Niko Mirotic and the Bulls' 1st round pick this year? Maybe the Bulls could sweeten the deal by including Taj Gibson or that future Sacramento No. 1 pick.

Similarly, Mitch Kupchak has seen the pitfalls of trying to build a team around mercurial young talent. Would the Lakers deal the No.2 overall pick and controversial young guard D’Angelo Russell (last year’s No. 2 overall pick) for Butler? The Lakers need to add an established player like Butler to possibly attract one of the premier free agents this summer, who otherwise wouldn’t be interested in joining a rebuilding team with a flock of young players like Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Larry Nance, Jr.

Jimmy is only 26 and has established himself as one of the best two-way wing players in the league. But can the Bulls hope to threaten the Cavs with a team built around Butler? Or, are they better off trying to acquire a player like Ben Simmons, a 6-foot-10 versatile playmaker who might have the chance to be a superstar?

There’s also the potential to make a deal with Boston and Phoenix for Picks 3 and 4. Celtics’ general manager Danny Ainge already inquired about Butler at the trade deadline and has three 1st round picks to offer this year, plus serviceable rotation players like Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley. The Bulls are reportedly intrigued by Providence point guard Kris Dunn, who’s a lock to be picked in the Top 6 on June 23rd.  So, would the No. 3 overall pick, Bradley/Crowder and another No. 1 get the deal done?

Phoenix also might be looking to trade out of their position at No. 4. The Suns hit on shooting guard Devin Booker last summer to go with their point guard duo of Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight, so they might be willing to pass on the chance to draft Dunn or Oklahoma sharp-shooter Buddy Hield to acquire an established talent like Butler.

Bulls GM Gar Forman could even call his old buddy Tom Thibodeau to see what the T-Wolves (who hold the No. 5 overall pick) might offer for Butler.

John Paxson and Forman figure to be presented with all kinds of intriguing trade proposals in the days leading up to the draft. Now it’s up to them to decide whether hoping to get a bottom-four seed in next year’s playoffs makes it worthwhile to hang on to Butler and Rose, and possibly re-sign Noah, or is it better to blow it all up and start building a team that can contend when James finally slows down?

Let’s be realistic, given the fact about two-thirds of the league will have enough cap room to offer a max contract this summer, the Bulls will not be a destination for the top free agents. So, forget about Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan, Al Horford, Hassan Whiteside, Nic Batum or any of the other top free agents coming on board this summer, any major change will have to come through the trade market.

I know it’s very small consolation, but after a painfully disappointing 2015-’16 season, the Bulls figure to be relevant over the next month as one of the most prominent teams in the NBA rumor mill.

No 2008 repeat: Bulls will select 14th in 2016 NBA Draft

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No 2008 repeat: Bulls will select 14th in 2016 NBA Draft

The last time the Bulls were part of the NBA Lottery they defied odds and earned the top overall selection in the 2008 draft, eventually selecting Derrick Rose.

Lighting didn't strike twice Tuesday night, as the Bulls were not among the lottery winners. That means they will select No. 14 in June's draft.

The Bulls had less than a two percent chance of moving into the top three selections in the draft, and just a 0.5 percent chance of receiving the first pick.

Zero teams jumped up from where their odds had them pegged entering the lottery. The Philadelphia 76ers will select first, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics (via Brookylyn).

Here's a look at the lottery order:

1. Philadelphia 76ers

2. Los Angeles Lakers

3. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn)

4. Phoenix Suns

5. Minnesota Timberwolves

6. New Orleans Pelicans

7. Denver Nuggets (via New York)

8. Sacramento Kings

9. Toronto Raptors (via Denver)

10. Milwaukee Bucks

11. Orlando Magic

12. Utah Jazz

13. Phoenix Suns (via Washington)

14. Chicago Bulls