Former Irish Standout Gets His Shot with Bulls

Former Irish Standout Gets His Shot with Bulls

Sunday, April 11, 2010
3:31 P.M.

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

When the Chicago Bulls waived veteran center Jerome James, they signed forward Rob Kurz for the remainder of the regular season. Kurz, who played collegiately at Notre Dame, is a 6-foot-9 forward that brings a dimension to the Bulls that dont presently havea stretch four, or a power forward that makes his living shooting the ball from the outside and stretching out the defense.

Im thrilled about this opportunity, said Kurz. Im really excited to be part of the Bulls and Im grateful to have this chance.

Im obviously a three-point shooter and with Derrick Rose and the other shooters theyve got, I can space the floor and draw another power forwardwd away from the basket, continued Kurz, who played for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (where fellow Bulls reserve Joe Alexander also had a stint earlier this season) of the NBAs Developmental League this season. The way the game is changing, theres a lot of stretch fours in the league and I feel like I can match up with them. From that standpoint, I feel like I can be of value to any offense.

Kurz, a native of the Philadelphia area, is already familiar with two of his new teammatesHakim Warrick and Flip Murrayas all three made the summer-league rounds in their hometown and worked on the their game in the offseason under the same coach, John Hardnett, who has helped numerous players from the city.

Flip and Hakim Warrick are both from Philly, so I see them in the summer and worked out with them since I was younger, said Kurz, whose D-League season ended last Friday.

Rob is one of those kids that throughout his whole basketball career, he was doubted and people felt he would never make it. He was always the first one in the gym and the last one out of the gym. He always put in extra hard work, always knew he could make it, said Hardnett, who also worked with former Bull John Salmons. Hes one of those ballplayers who can play forever because he has the intelligence factor.

Regardless of what occurs between now and the end of the Bulls season, the reality for Kurz is he is likely auditioning for an NBA jobwhether its with Chicago or another team; last season, he enjoyed a stint with Golden State that included extended minutes and even starting several gamesand he knows that with the teams current situation, playing time is likely to be scant.

I think its a good opportunity for me and they can take a look at me for the rest of the season. Hopefully I can be there in the summer working out, said Kurz, whose coach in Fort Wayne was former DePaul coach Joey Meyer. They can get a chance to see me work every day and see my work ethic, get an extended look and see if they want to keep me around.

I understand that theyre in a playoff race, continued Kurz, who worked out for the Boston Celtics on Thursday. Id love to help the team any way that I canwhether thats in practice or a game, Ill do anything they ask.

Going forward, I feel that I can help an NBA team. HopefullyI can show them that I can be an important part of the team.

While Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro doesnt necessarily plan to throw Kurz into the fire immediately and allow him to prove his worth, he does recognize the former Fighting Irishs standouts potential long-term value to Chicago.

He shoots the ball and well get him on our summer-league team. Obviously theres not a lot of practice leftwe have to focus in our games right now, Del Negro told CSNChicago.com. Well take a look at him as we move forward.

Our basketball front-office people liked what he was doing in the D-League, so they gave him an opportunity and got him up there.

Bulls fall flat in blowout loss in Dallas

Bulls fall flat in blowout loss in Dallas

DALLAS (AP) -- Wesley Matthews has taken greater responsibility with Dirk Nowitzki out of the Dallas Mavericks' lineup much of this season.

Matthews scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half of Dallas' 107-82 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.

"Matthews was the star of the game, obviously," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "He is our leader right now with Dirk out. He really sets the tone for us in the locker room and on the floor. He is just the vocal guy."

Matthews has accepted the expanded role as Nowitzki has been limited to five games by a strained right Achilles tendon.

"I feel like that's one of the reasons why they brought me over here (from Portland). Through this rough patch, injuries and everything, everybody had to mold together. It's almost like we had to restructure ourselves. I think everybody has embraced that."

Harrison Barnes scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half to help Dallas improve to 4-15.

Chicago was coming off a 111-105 victory over defending champion Cleveland on Friday night.

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Jimmy Butler led Chicago with 26 points.

"I don't think anybody played well tonight," Butler said. "We didn't play with energy on either end of the floor."

Barnes powered the Mavericks to a 17-point first-quarter lead with eight points.

"They came out and threw the first punch and kept throwing, and we could just never recover from that," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "We did expend a lot of energy (Friday) night."

Dwight Powell (17) and rookie Dorian Finney-Smith (11) had career highs in scoring, and Deron Williams had a season-high 15 assists with only one turnover.

"The biggest thing was we were even (43-43) on the boards," Carlisle said. Andrew Bogut had a game-high 11 rebounds, and Powell grabbed eight.

Neither team scored in the first 2:15, but Dallas went on a 7-0 run over the next 1:20. The Mavericks led 23-6 with 3:17 left. The quarter ended with Dallas leading 29-18. Bogut had six points and eight rebounds.

Chicago pulled within six points three times in the second quarter, but Dallas finished the first half with a 57-45 lead. In the third quarter, Matthews had 14 points, and the Maverick led by as many as 21 points.

Morning Update: Bulls win first meeting with Cavs; LeBron pays off Cubs-Indians bet

update-1202.jpg
USA TODAY

Morning Update: Bulls win first meeting with Cavs; LeBron pays off Cubs-Indians bet

Here are some of Friday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Saturday on CSN: Bradley vs. Nevada; Illinois State vs. New Mexico

Dwyane Wade, Bulls take first blood with LeBron James, Cavs

Bears-49ers: And the winner is?

Jonathan Toews practices but won’t play vs. Flyers

For Cubs, winter meetings will be all about the hunt for pitching 

White Sox reportedly asking for No. 1 prospect plus more in trade return for Chris Sale

'Quarterback' Rajon Rondo executes Bulls' game plan, logs first triple-double of the year

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

LeBron James pays off bet, rocks Cubs uniform to the United Center

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