Word on the Street: Bulls the NBA's best secret?

Word on the Street: Bulls the NBA's best secret?

Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Bulls: Best kept secret in the NBA?

Columnist Steve Dilbeck thinks that they are. According to Dilbeck, the Spurs with the best record in the league and the Lakers as defending champs get most of the news coverage in the Western Conference. In the east, the Celtics and Heat, each with their own "big three," are the media darlings. But with a 38-16 record, and Joakim Noah ready to return after the All-Star break, he believes that the Bulls will only get better. (TheNational)

Ricketts leaves door open for Pujols

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, who was in Arizona on Saturday to address the team on the first day of full-squad workouts, said that the only thing he knows about the Albert Pujols situation is "what I read in the paper."

However, he did leave the door open to a potential mega-deal for the All-Star first baseman should the Cardinals fail to sign him.

Theres going to be a little more financial flexibility at the end of the season than weve had in years past, Ricketts said. Well have to assess the situation when we get there and see whats available. The fact is, well be open-minded to what we think is best for the team when that comes up. (CSNChicago.com)

Jackson likely to start second for Sox

Barring any injuries, setbacks, or other unforseen changes, Edwin Jackson is in line to start the second game of the White Sox season on April 2 in Cleveland. Additionally, the sox have set up their rotation for the first week of Cactus League play, which begins of Feb. 28. Gavin Floyd will make the first start of the spring for the Sox, followed by Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, John Danks, and then Jake Peavy. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Williams to New York in 2012?

Right now the eyes of the New York basketball world are on Carmelo Anthony, however, in another year there may be a new name on their radar. According to sources close to former-Illini, and current-Jazz point guard Deron Williams, he has began informing those close to him that he would like to join Amar'e Staudemire in New York when he becomes a free agent in 2012.

Though, if the Knicks were to pull the trigger on a deal with Anthony, it is unlikely they would have the cap room remaining to make a deal with Williams. (cbssports.com)

Former Chicago Cardinal RB Matson passes away

Hall of Fame running back Ollie Matson, who had a 14-year NFL career and won two medals at the 1952 olympics, died at the age of 80 on Saturday. Matson was the first pick (third overall) for the Chicago Cardinals in the 1952 NFL draft.

Matson passed away due to respiratory failure, surrounded by family at his home in Los Angeles. His nephew, Art Thompson, said that Matson had been mostly bedridden for several years due to a type of dementia, and had not spoken in four years. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

For the past two seasons, David Accam was a bright spot on bad Chicago Fire teams.

This season, with more talent on the roster, Accam has blossomed into one of the most dangerous players in the league.

He had a hat trick and an assist in Saturday’s 4-0 win against Orlando. That gives him 10 goals and six assists on the season. Only two other players in Major League Soccer have 16 combined goals and assists, New York City FC's David Villa and teammate Nemanja Nikolic (the leading goal-scorer in the league).

“I thought I could do anything on the pitch today,” Accam said. “I just wanted to enjoy myself and entertain the fans and also help the team win. That’s what we did today, especially after my first goal. I just thought I could get more goals and also help the team win.”

Accam’s big game comes after he sat out the previous two games, which were both played on turf. He wasn’t listed on the injury report, but coach Veljko Paunovic said, “he didn’t recover from the physical issues that he had in the previous game.”

The rest seemed to do Accam some good, but his success in the game (as well as his recent run of eight goals and four assists in his last eight matches) coincides with questions about his future. He was recently rumored to be the target of a Turkish club.

In the past, Accam has spoken about his ambition to play at the highest levels. Typically, that means Europe. General manager Nelson Rodriguez said last month that he expects offers to come in for the 26-year-old because he is a good player in his prime ages.

So is Accam playing like someone trying to earn a new contract? That could be either impressing potential suitors in Europe or boosting his negotiation position with the Fire. Rodriguez has talked about contract negotiations with Accam before, and said those will not resume again until after the season.

“I wanted to be in a team where I would develop as a person and also win trophies, whether here or somewhere (else) I don’t know,” Accam said. “For me, I’m doing really well here and every year if I keep playing well there will be always interest. I know there is a lot of interest because I’m doing well. For me it’s always extra motivation to keep doing well. You don’t know where I will end up, whether here or somewhere else. I’ll just keep playing.”

Accam’s play earned him another call-up to the Ghanaian national team. He will join the team on Sunday for a pair of friendlies in the U.S. The Black Stars will take on Mexico in Houston on June 28 and the U.S. in East Hartford, Conn., on July 1 as the two North American countries prepare for the Gold Cup.

“That’s where I want to be,” Accam said. “I want to be playing for the national team so it’s extra motivation for me to perform well and also to go to the national team.”

Accam has been one of the most productive players in MLS this year, based on goals and assists, and is young enough to draw the attention of plenty of teams. For now, the Fire have him as a key part of the best season the club has had in years.

“I think that he understands very well how to play with the team that we have now and with the teammates that he is surrounded with,” coach Veljko Paunovic said. “We just have to work to give David opportunities… Then we expect that performances like that will come even more.”

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