Sam: Pippen clarifies Jordan-LeBron talk

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Sam: Pippen clarifies Jordan-LeBron talk

After causing a firestorm during last spring's NBA playoffs with his statement that was interpreted as suggesting Miami Heat star LeBron James could become better than former teammate Michael Jordan, Bulls legend Scottie Pippen clarified his comment last week. Pippen, currently the Bulls team ambassador, spoke with CNBC's Erin Sharoni at a launch party for the new NBA 2K12 video game and explained his thought process.

"My position is still the same. Youre talking about a very young kid who came to the game at a very young age. Statistically, he will probably be the best player at the end of the daybased on the number of years he can get in, James is a super athlete, very versatile in a lot of ways," said Pippen, who also clarified his postseason comments via Twitter following the initial tempest. "My comment was not meant to belittle the greatest player in the gamehe has truly made his mark with his style, with his charisma, with his brandbut from a statistical standpoint, I think James has great potential to be recognized as the best.

Pippen is right about one thing--James' potential, by the numbers, is off the charts, partially due to his youth when he made his NBA debut. However, regardless of the number of championships the Heat star wins, James' status among fans and impact on the game is unlikely to ever rival Jordan's, even if he makes good on last summer's infamous promise of "not five, not six, not seven" championships.

Deng honored

Teammate Derrick Rose might have taken home league MVP honors, but he has a long way to go before catching up with Luol Deng. The Bulls small forward, a native of Sudan who spent much of his childhood in London after his family was exiled during the country's civil war, is one of four notable individuals featured on the "Brixton Pound," a complementary currency to the British pound.

"I am honoured to be featured on the new Brixton Pound notes," said Deng in a statement released on his foundation's website. "I grew up in Brixton as a young teenager playing basketball for the Brixton Topcats which marked the beginning of my career. So it is with great pleasure that I am helping to support the local community that played a vital part in getting where I am today."

Deng joins Lenford Kwesi Garrison, Violette Szabo and rocker David Bowie as faces appearing on the money. This summer, the Duke University product competed for Great Britain, the host country for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, in the FIBA EuroBasket tournament, leading the event in scoring during first-round play.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

Bulls center Robin Lopez slapped with one-game suspension after fight

Bulls center Robin Lopez slapped with one-game suspension after fight

Robin Lopez will not be suiting up for the Bulls Wednesday night.

The center was slapped with a one-game suspension from the NBA just hours before tipoff after getting into a fight with Serge Ibaka in the Bulls' loss to the Toronto Raptors Tuesday evening.

The two threw punches at each other during a dead ball toward the end of the third quarter.

Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire was fined $15,000 for pushing Bulls forward Niko Mirotic in the scuffle.

Bulls collapse in Toronto, fall in overtime to Raptors

Bulls collapse in Toronto, fall in overtime to Raptors

TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Raptors fought and scrapped their way to their first victory over the Chicago Bulls in years.

DeMar DeRozan led the way.

DeRozan had 42 points, and the Raptors snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Bulls by rallying for a wild 122-120 overtime win on Tuesday night.

"You don't want to have something lingering like that and go a couple of seasons where you can't beat a team," DeRozan said. "When you're a competitor, just to have that in the back of your mind, it sucks."

DeRozan set a franchise record with 38 shot attempts, making 17, and also finished with eight assists. Cory Joseph had 19 points for the Raptors, and Serge Ibaka scored 16 before he was ejected for his role in a memorable fight with Robin Lopez during the third quarter.

Jimmy Butler had 37 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Bulls, and Rajon Rondo scored a season-high 24. It was Chicago's first loss to Toronto since Dec. 31, 2013.

Following a Butler 3-pointer with 3:58 remaining in the third quarter, giving Chicago a 16-point lead, Lopez swatted the ball out of the hand of Ibaka. The two squared up in the middle of a crowd and Lopez swung and missed Ibaka, who returned in kind, barely connecting with the head of the center.

Lopez and Ibaka were ejected following a long review period. Chicago forward Nikola Mirotic and Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire received offsetting technical fouls after getting into a shoving match following the melee.

With Lopez throwing the first punch, Ibaka said he was simply trying to defend himself.

"I'm not just going to be out there and watch a man like him punch me and walk away," he said after his fourth career ejection.

Lopez was ejected for the sixth time in his career. He said he expects to be suspended for the fight.

"I think it was a really physical game, physical game for everybody," he said. "Just kind of hit the flashpoint."

The Bulls opened a 109-94 lead on Paul Zipser's 3-pointer with 6:39 left in the fourth. But the Raptors responded with a 15-0 run, tying the game on Joseph's layup with 1:50 remaining.

"They were the aggressors on both sides of the floor, getting layups on one end and stops on the other," Butler said. "Hell, that's how we were playing for the majority of the game. Whenever you're playing like that, the game turns quickly."

Toronto grabbed the lead for the first time on a turnaround jumper from DeRozan with 1:23 to play in overtime.

Denzel Valentine missed a 3-point attempt on Chicago's next possession and Patrick Patterson had a tip-in layup to make it 119-115 Toronto with 44.7 seconds remaining.

The Raptors lead the NBA with 18 comeback victories after trailing by 10-or-more points.