Former Bull Thomas enjoying second stint in New York

960149.png

Former Bull Thomas enjoying second stint in New York

In addition to Ronnie Brewer, another familiar face was wearing a Knicks jersey Saturday night during the Bulls' 93-85 win at the United Center. Kurt Thomas (the NBA's oldest active player) started for New York, the league's oldest team--in fact, the oldest team in modern NBA history--with superstar Carmelo Anthony out due to a lacerated middle finger and starting power forward Amar'e Stoudemire still yet to make his season debut with a more long-term knee ailment.

RELATED: Knicks' Brewer has fond memories of time in Chicago

Thomas was a fan favorite during his lone year in Chicago, the 2010-11 season, in which the Bulls advanced to the Eastern Conference finals. He started in place of center Joakim Noah and the Bulls didn't miss a beat en route to the first of two campaigns with the league's top regular-season record.

However, following the end of the NBA lockout, the organization didn't re-sign him and he ended up in Portland, where he missed the playoffs last season. Still, he's paid attention to the Bulls from a distance.

"Well, you know one thing when it comes to a Thibodeau-coached team, guys are going to come out, they're going to play hard, they're going to compete on the defensive end of the floor," he told CSNChicago.com. "It's hard to replace a Derrick Rose, but they've got a lot of talent in that locker room and they're going to compete every night, so there's no doubt in my mind that Thibodeau's going to make sure those guys are prepared, night in and night out."

This is Thomas' second stint in New York, as he was a member of the Knicks team that advanced to the NBA Finals back in 1999, a squad that had current Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau as an assistant on Jeff Van Gundy's staff. It was clear from Thomas' trips to Madison Square Garden with the Bulls that he relished the "Big Apple" atmosphere and the feeling from the city was mutual.

"Oh, I love it. I love being back. It's like my second home. Just enjoying the ride," he said. "When I left, I didn't think I'd ever be coming back. I also didn't think I'd be playing this long in my career, but I'm just enjoying every opportunity I get out there on the floor."

2017 NFL Draft Profile: California QB Davis Webb

2017 NFL Draft Profile: California QB Davis Webb

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Davis Webb, QB, California

6'5" | 229 lbs.

2016 stats:

4,295 YDS, 61.6 CMP%, 37 TD, 12 INT, 135.6 QBR

Projection:

Day 3

Scouting Report:

"System quarterback with more than 65 percent of his attempts coming inside of 10 yards. Webb has enough raw talent to be considered a developmental prospect, but his decision-making and accuracy issues beyond 10 yards is a big red flag that might be tough to overcome in the NFL." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles

Owners to consider on and off field changes this week during NFL meetings

Owners to consider on and off field changes this week during NFL meetings

Give the NFL credit for, at least this one time, genuinely putting the interests of its fans first. Or at least proposing to.

Among the matters expected to come before this week’s owners meetings in Arizona will be one from Washington that coaches have the ability to make unlimited replay challenges as long as the ones they make are correct. The idea is not likely to pass, in part because the NFL is endeavoring to improve the pace of its games, particularly for fans seated in stadiums, particularly outdoor ones. (If you’re watching at home, replay reviews are enough time to fill the chips bowl and grab a cold one.)

Along that line, the plan is for tablet computers to be run out to game officials for their review and consultation, while the final decision is reached at league officiating headquarters in New York, according to current proposals to be considered for votes this week. Additionally, a 40-second play clock is suggested after extra points when there is no commercial break scheduled, and halftime to be limited to 13 minutes 30 seconds.

[VIVID SEATS: Get your Bears tickets right here!]

Actual in-game changes are also under consideration.

No one is likely to label it “The McClellin Rule” but a proposal is there to ban players leaping over offensive linemen (read: long snappers) to block field goals and extra points. Former Bears linebacker Shea, as a special-teams rusher with the New England Patriots, successfully vaulted Ravens blockers to knock down a Baltimore field goal try last season.

The proposal is likely to pass ostensibly as a player-safety measure, although cynics might suggest that the impetus behind the ban is general irritation that Bill Belichick’s group came up with with kick-block gambit.

More directly aimed at protecting players from gratuitous violence in a game that has enough violence just by its nature is a move to remind officials that players can be ejected for egregiously illegal hits. The situation is not considered dire because of frequency but the league clearly wants to send a message/reminder to not only officials, but players, something likely to be reinforced during officials’ tours of training camps in August.