Byline: Kent McDill and Mark Alesia Daily Herald Sports Writers
The Bulls have three superstars, a longtime and successful coach, and they are about to be tossed to the four winds when the season is over. The Utah Jazz has two superstars, a longtime and successful coach, and all anyone ever talks about is sticking together and enjoying the ride.
Why the difference?
"Obviously, you have to say it's management," Scottie Pippen said. "It is very obvious the older guys are the ones that are competing and getting to this level. If they are happy with the changes they want to make, then we have to move on.
"The Jazz is a very good organization, and they have a lot of respect for their players," he said. "I think the players are enjoying this run here."
Michael Jordan said the difference was more a matter of economics.
"One is a major city and one is not," Jordan said, comparing Chicago to Salt Lake City. "You have to deal with high expectations in Chicago, the market, the need to provide to that economic support in a major city. I am pretty sure decisions are made from a business sense.
"(In Salt Lake City), everything is on passion, the opportunity to excel and to experience what success brings to an organization that wins championships," he said. "There is a difference, and I can't really define both, since I only know one side."
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Noisy: Your television cannot fully relay the noise level the Delta Center reached during last season's NBA Finals. Most of the Bulls players were ready to handle the noise expected for tonight's game.
"I already bought ear plugs for my kids," guard Randy Brown said.
"It can't be any louder than it was last season," Scottie Pippen said. "It just means we have to take the crowd out of the game."
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Bad back: Ron Harper was upset when somebody asked him about his sore back.
"Who told on me?" Harper said. "I didn't tell anybody about my back."
Actually, Harper did tell Bulls trainer Chip Schaefer, who relayed the information to coach Phil Jackson, who spilled the beans after the Eastern Conference finals and Game 7, when Harper was hampered a bit by the back pain.
"I just can't move around as fast as I would without the pain," Harper said.
Harper said he was receiving daily massages and heat therapy to alleviate the pain.
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Guess-timate: In a transparent effort to put Michael Jordan on their cover, the editors of Forbes Magazine did a story suggesting Jordan has had a $10 billion impact on the U.S. economy (See related story on Page 4).
Jordan was quick to suggest those numbers were speculative.
"No one really knows those numbers, or can verify those numbers," Jordan said. "I just never knew there was that much business surrounding the way I approach the game. It is a privilege and a burden at the same time. I am not believing what I am hearing."
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Changes in altitude: Last year, the Bulls stayed in the resort town of Park City, a 45-minute drive into the mountains from Salt Lake City, which is in a valley between the slopes. …