For Arkansas native Brewer, Pippen's honor special

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For Arkansas native Brewer, Pippen's honor special

Wednesday, April 8, 2011Posted: 4:50 p.m.

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

CLEVELANDThursday nights halftime ceremony, during which a bust for Bulls legend Scottie Pippen was unveiled, held a special meaning to one of the current Bulls.

Swingman Ronnie Brewer, a native of Fayetteville, Ark., talked to CSNChicago.com about Pippens influence in their shared home state.

Before we really knew who Jordan was, we just knew a guy from Hamburg, Ark., who went to Central Arkansas. I think the majority of the people from Arkansas put him on a pedestal before they put Jordan there, just because it was an inspiration to guys who were trying to make it, said Brewer, whose father, Ron, also played in the NBA. It gave guys someone to look up to. Theres not a lot of guys who made it out of Arkansas, who made it to the league, so he was the motivation and inspiration for me.

While Brewer hasnt reached the heights of Pippen during his career, he says his full-court style, emphasis on defense and overall versatility were partly patterned after the Hall of Fame small forward.

Scottie, a lot of people didnt give him a lot of credit. He didnt just play on one end on the floor. He stepped his game up on defense and he was very versatile. Thats what I try to do when I play the game, try to do more than one thing, Brewer told CSNChicago.com. Your shots not going to be on every night, so you have to try to affect the game in a number of different ways and to me, its a testament to him because he did that by distributing the ball, playing defense, rebounding and a lot of other things. I think he changed the game.

Magic to be without Howard when Bulls visit

As a result of incurring his 18th technical foul of the season, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard will be suspended for Sundays matinee game against the Bulls at the Amway Center.

The All-Star center received a technical for reacting after he was called for a 10-second violation while shooting free throws during the Magics win over the Charlotte Bobcats Wednesday.

By NBA rules, a player who receives over 16 technical fouls will be suspended for a game without pay for every technical received over that number, making this Howards second such suspension this season.

Additionally, the Magic will be without swingman Quentin Richardson for Sundays game. Richardson, a Chicago native, was suspended for two games for shoving Bobcats swingman Gerald Henderson during Wednesdays game.

Reinsdorf speaks with Hill, mother after spitting incident

Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf spoke to Phoenix Suns small forward Grant Hill Thursday night, in the aftermath of Tuesdays incident at the United Center, according to a team spokesman.

Following Tuesdays Bulls win over the Suns, Hill was reportedly spat upon by a fan in the United Center. According to reports, Hill first went after the fan before being restrained by security guards, who then detained the offender.

Reinsdorf previously had a 15-minute phone conversation with Hills mother, Janet, a renowned lawyer, Thursday afternoon.

Kendall Gill, Ice Cube give their predictions for Mayweather-McGregor

Kendall Gill, Ice Cube give their predictions for Mayweather-McGregor

This story originally appeared on Big3.com. Hear from Kendall and Ice Cube as they give their opinions on the Aug. 26 fight in the video above.

Timing really is everything.

When I went to Las Vegas for the BIG3 combine and draft back in April, I liked my chances. Sure, I was one of the oldest guys there, but my training as a boxer (I fought professionally after my NBA days) keeps me in great shape.

So I was pretty shocked when I didn’t get drafted.

I tried to be positive about it. I figured maybe the man upstairs was saying, “Just sit tight. I gotta put you on the right team.”

So there I was, sparring in the gym the other day. I get out of the ring and there’s a text waiting for me from Corey Maggette, asking me if I want to play for Power.

He didn’t have to ask twice!

Next thing I know, I’m getting a call from Power’s coach, Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler. I looked up to Clyde my whole career, looked at him as a big brother. To play for him in the BIG3 is the perfect scenario.

So it was great to be in Philadelphia last Sunday and help Power defeat the Ghost Ballers in my BIG3 debut. I thoroughly enjoyed playing with Cuttino Mobley, DeShawn Stevenson, Jerome “Junkyard Dog” Williams and Paul McPherson.

I was a bit rusty on the offensive side, but my defense -- which has been a staple for me throughout my career -- my rebounding, passing, that was all on point. I found Cuttino and DeShawn for a couple of shots when we forced them to double-team down on me. I had Mike Bibby on me in the post, and they knew that he probably couldn’t guard me down there.

So it was a pretty good first day. Now that I’ve got that under my belt, here comes the fun part. Everybody was excited when I was finally added to a team, and when they found out we were playing in Chicago they got twice as excited. When I got off the plane from Philadelphia on Monday, I had about 50 messages waiting for me – friends and family asking for tickets to the UIC Pavilion for Sunday’s games.

And since I work Chicago Bulls games for CSN Chicago, the network is excited, too. They want to mic me up and follow me around for the day, go behind the scenes. Radio stations have been calling me for interviews about the BIG3 coming to Chicago. It’s exciting. But when it comes time to play, I’ve got to forget about all that and go out there and play.

A lot of people think I’m biased because I was born and raised here, and still live in Chicago, but if you look at the number of pro players that we’ve produced, there’s really nowhere else that can compare to Chicago as a basketball town. You look at all the number one picks in the draft. Look at the top five picks in the NBA Draft throughout history. I think you’d have to say Chicago is probably the number one producer of NBA players – and college basketball players for that matter.

Only a few fortunate kids make it up the ranks to college and the pros. For most kids growing up in Chicago, at least basketball can be an important recreational activity that helps keep them off the streets and out of trouble. But there’s so much more we can do. When I was preparing for the BIG3 draft, I was practicing with Arne Duncan, President Obama’s Secretary of Education. Duncan, who has played competitive 3-on-3 with USA Basketball, is doing some great work with underprivileged kids in Chicago.

For my part, I donated a home in Champaign-Urbana (home of my alma mater, the University of Illinois). It’s the Cunningham Children’s Home and it helps disadvantaged kids in the region. We just had our annual golf tournament last week. We’ve been doing it for 28 years and have raised more than $1 million for the home.

While Arne Duncan is doing great work with Chicago youth, I’m grateful for the work he put in with me on the basketball court. He showed me a lot about how to cut, do a lot of pick and rolls away from the ball. In 3-on-3, those aspects of the game are very undervalued. Some guys have a tendency to play too much one-on-one, which I saw in some of the other games I was watching Sunday. The 3-on-3 game is very easy if you do it right, like we did. I think that’s why we won that game. We did a lot of cuts, and it worked well for us.

So after the disappointment of not being drafted, I’m thrilled to be where I am now – playing for a Power squad that is 3-1 and looking good for the playoffs. Which got me to thinking…

I really love boxing – not just training and sparring myself, but watching it. Boxing is the sweet science.

If we are fortunate enough to make it to Las Vegas for the BIG3 championship game on August 26, there just happens to be a pretty big boxing match taking place that night, right down the road. You may have heard:  Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor.

Personally, I don’t think McGregor has a chance. I’ve seen Floyd train in person and I’ve seen all his fights at least 10 times. He’s one of the greatest fighters to ever live. Now a guy who has no boxing experience whatsoever is going to get into the ring with him? Not happening.

But it’s gonna be an event. Believe me, I’m planning to buy the Pay-Per-View.

Unless I’m in Vegas that day and get to see it in person. You know, right after we win the BIG3 title.

Wake-up Call: Rose returning to Chicago?; Willson Contreras takes over; State of Cubs-Cards

Wake-up Call: Rose returning to Chicago?; Willson Contreras takes over; State of Cubs-Cards

Here are the top Chicago sports stories from Thursday: 

Is #TheReturn getting a reboot? Report says there's a possibility Derrick Rose comes back to Bulls

This is becoming Willson Contreras' team, whether or not Cubs add Alex Avila or another veteran catcher

Bears training camp preview: 3 burning questions for tight ends

Why Blackhawks fans might want to tap the brakes on Alex DeBrincat

That escalated quickly: Cubs just a game back of Brewers, could be in first place as soon as this weekend

Ping-pong balls everywhere: Where do the Bulls rank among projected lottery teams?

Joe Maddon's prime-time message: 'Help or die'

Report: Derrick Rose is considering teaming up with LeBron James, Cavs

Cubs Talk Podcast: State of Cubs-Cardinals rivalry and what lies ahead

Why Adam Engel came up with his unique batting stance, and how he's tweaked it since