33-23 = 1.8, but 33+23 = 72

Lesson 2

Excerpt from “How The GOAT Was Built: Six Life Lessons From the 1996 Chicago Bulls” (Read the book here)

Lesson #2: Don’t be afraid to push your limits — or to find peace and excellence within them

by Jack M Silverstein (@readjack)

The championship Bulls don’t work without Scottie Pippen. So naturally the Bulls tried to trade him approximately a bajillion times between 1994 and 1998. In telling the story of the 1996 Bulls — and gleaning from that story wisdom for our own lives and pursuits — two abandoned Pippen trades stand out.

Incredibly, both failed because the OTHER team balked.

The first was between the Bulls and SuperSonics on the eve of the 1994 draft, the Pippen-for-Kemp deal that failed when Seattle got cold feet.

The second was in February 1995, when the Clippers tried to acquire Pippen at a time when he was dead set on leaving.

“I don’t want to be here (with the Bulls) the rest of the season,” Pippen said in early February. “I’m hoping teams are thinking about me. I’m still ready to get out of here. I’m looking for a different place, a different team, a different perspective on my career. I’ve got 18 days to go (to the February 23 trading deadline). The countdown is on. Just say I’m showcasing myself out here.” Continue reading “33-23 = 1.8, but 33+23 = 72”


There Could Never Be an 8-Peat: Why Michael Jordan Needed Baseball

Michael Jordan 1993 baseball 1994 White Sox 1996 NBA Finals champagne

Excerpt from “How The GOAT Was Built: Six Life Lessons From the 1996 Chicago Bulls” (Read the book here)

Lesson #1: If your head approves, follow your heart

by Jack M Silverstein (@readjack)

“I think he had to get away from everything. It all overwhelmed him.”

“I think he had gotten so tired of the hype and so tired of the media that he wanted to find a place where he could play and really just have fun.”

“I think Mike is doing this just so he can get away from the insanity of pro basketball.”

“Maybe Mike’s doing this because he just wants to be a player again.”

“Here’s a guy, the greatest of all times, letting nothing stand in the way of what he loves to do, and that’s just play ____________.”

— Marv Albert, Ahmad Rashad, David Robinson, Harold Miner, and John Thompson, February 1994

The best evidence that Michael Jordan’s 1993 retirement and subsequent short-lived baseball career was on the level and NOT a secret NBA suspension due to gambling, or an NBA marketing ploy to develop new stars in the Jordan vacuum, or any other theory, is simple: There’s no evidence. Continue reading “There Could Never Be an 8-Peat: Why Michael Jordan Needed Baseball”

Dub-Bulls: How the 1996 Bulls led the small-ball revolution by going big

1996 Bulls 2016 Warriors (Jack M Silverstein)

Excerpt from “How The GOAT Was Built: Six Life Lessons From the 1996 Chicago Bulls

Lesson #4: Think creatively about your shortcomings

by Jack M Silverstein (@readjack)

Twenty years later, my number one vision of the Chicago Bulls in the spring of 1996 is 20 limbs and an approximate 35-foot combined wingspan fanned out like a flying octagon — five players between 6’6 and 6’11, four with point guard skills, four who could defend three positions, and a genius on the sideline joining his players in synced consciousness.

In short, they were awesome.

It’s no coincidence that the Warriors are too.

While watching Golden State this season, my thoughts have returned time and again to one question and one question only: Why? Why these Warriors? Why after Shaq & Kobe and Duncan’s Spurs and the Big 3 Heat and the Big 3 Celtics — why is THIS the team that finally made a successful run at 70 wins, much less 73? Continue reading “Dub-Bulls: How the 1996 Bulls led the small-ball revolution by going big”

Adrian Peterson and the quest for immortality


Adrian Peterson and the quest for immortality

by Jack M Silverstein, @readjack

Originally published on ChicagoSide, September 13, 2013

One of the coolest pieces of sports memorabilia I ever saw was at Bookman’s Alley, the great old used bookstore in Evanston. It was a poster made of cloth displaying the schedule for the 1927 Chicago Cardinals season, like the 1920’s version of a team schedule refrigerator magnet.

The schedule read:

September 25          Chicago Bears

October 2                 Pottsville Maroons

October 9                 Dayton Triangles

October 16               at Green Bay Packers

October 30               Red Grange

November 6             Green Bay Packers

November 13           at Red Grange

November 19           at Frankford Yellow Jackets

November 20           at New York Giants

November 24           at Chicago Bears

November 27           Cleveland Bulldogs

Continue reading “Adrian Peterson and the quest for immortality”

How Back To The Future Part II helped make the greatest trilogy in movie history


How Back To The Future Part II helped make the greatest trilogy in movie history

by Jack M Silverstein, @readjack

The year I turned 25, I started writing letters to my great-grandchildren. Every time an important event occurs, I write a letter that begins, “Greetings from the past.” Then I group them together by year. The letters will be delivered to my great-grandchildren on their corresponding birthdays. When they turn 25, they will get the letters I wrote when I was 25. When they turn 30, they will get the letters I wrote when I was 30. And so on.

The first two years were done on individual sheets of paper. After temporarily losing the 27-year-old letter, I started writing them in books. Collectively, I call them the Time Journal.

My inspiration? Back To The Future. Continue reading “How Back To The Future Part II helped make the greatest trilogy in movie history”

Eric Nesterenko, Black Hawks legend, in Studs Terkel’s ‘Working’


In 1972, his final season with the Black Hawks and his second-to-last season of professional hockey, winger Eric Nesterenko gave Studs Terkel one of the most honest and insightful quotes that any athlete has ever committed to the annals of history:

“The whole object of a pro game is to win,” Nesterenko said. “That is what we sell. We sell it to a lot of people who don’t win at all in their regular lives.”

Tonight, the Blackhawks open the Stanley Cup Finals in Tampa with a chance to bag their third championship in six seasons. Prior to that, the franchise had gone 49 years without a championship. Nesterenko was a part of that team.

In honor of the latest Blackhawks Cup chase, I have typed out Nesterenko’s full interview with Terkel, part of the 1974 book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do.

It remains one of the great athlete interviews I’ve ever read. Continue reading “Eric Nesterenko, Black Hawks legend, in Studs Terkel’s ‘Working’”

For 1.


For 1.

February 25, 2015

by Jack M Silverstein (@readjack)

All I want to hear is love.

Don’t talk to me about prospects — ours for the playoffs or the talent that might replace him.

Don’t talk to me about fault — his or his coach’s or anyone else’s.

Don’t talk to me about the future — his with us or ours without him.

Don’t talk to me about legacy — about Penny or Prior, about Fields or Woody.

Don’t talk to me about pain — unless it’s his.

Don’t talk to me about anything other than what he means to you. As a Bulls fan. As a Chicagoan.

That’s it.

That’s all I want to hear. Continue reading “For 1.”

People With Passion: Alex Beh (2015 edition)

Warren Alex Beh film

People With Passion

Filmmaker Alex Beh

E-mail exchange, Feb. 2-3, 2015

When we last spoke, back in April of 2010, filmmaker Alex Beh had recently released Babe, his fourth short film. In the intervening five years he has directed three more shorts, directed several music videos, starred in commercials for Bud Light and Burger King and has now released Warren, his feature film debut.

John Heard (left) and Alex Beh (center) in
John Heard (left) and Alex Beh (center) in “Warren.”

The movie stars Beh as the title character, a Chicago man drifting through his late 20s while his parents (John Heard & Jean Smart) get divorced and his ex-girlfriend (Sarah Habel) turns up back in town with a fiancé. Beh is the lead but dishes out plenty of screen time for his co-stars, with particularly strong performances from the veterans Heard & Smart. Let me be the first to say that Heard — whose credits include Home AloneAfter Hours, Big and The Sopranos — gives one of the best performances his career as Warren’s hard-drinking, love-lorn, soon-to-be-divorced father.

While Beh prepped for Warren‘s Chicago premier last night at the Midwest Independent Film Festival, Beh and I traded e-mails the past two days about his experience making the film. The following is an edited version of that exchange. Continue reading “People With Passion: Alex Beh (2015 edition)”

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin archives, 2015

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin archives

Plus Chicago Lawyer and Leading Lawyer stories

(all titles are links)

2015 (click here for 2013-2014)

(NOTE: the Law Bulletin is subscription-based. Links marked SUB need subscription.)

(If any links don’t work, please email me at jsilverstein@lbpc.com. Thanks!)

The 35,000 square foot rotunda in the 65,000 square foot Roundhouse at the DuSable Museum for African American History.
The 35,000 square foot rotunda in the 65,000 square foot Roundhouse at the DuSable Museum for African American History. (photo by Jack Silverstein for Chicago Daily Law Bulletin)

6 JAN 2015 — Expansions at Polsinelli & Heyl, Royster

8 JAN 2015 — Fundraiser for The Roundhouse at the DuSable Museum

9 JAN 2015 — Law School Notes: Deans react to the 2015 Association of American Law Schools (AALS) conference (free PDF)

12 JAN 2015 — Amicus Curious: Employment lawyer Marc J. Siegel (SUB)

15 JAN 2015 — 7th Circuit: No privacy in police cars (SUB)

16 JAN 2015 — Obituary of attorney Joseph Tecson (SUB)

19 JAN 2015 — Amicus Curious: Employment lawyer Paul Burmeister works with musicians’ unions to help save small town orchestras (SUB)
Continue reading “Chicago Daily Law Bulletin archives, 2015”