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Thursday, November 29, 2012
Mayo: There's a Bulls fan in everybody

By Nick Friedell




CHICAGO -- Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo spent his childhood just like pretty much every other basketball-loving kid of his era -- following Michael Jordan and the Bulls.

"Yeah, we all did," Mayo said before Wednesday night's game.

Mayo shared his own Jordan and Bulls memories during the Mavs' visit to Chicago.

"I had some favorite Chicago Bulls sweats that I used to wear,"he said. "A lot of Bulls shirts and jerseys. Michael Jordan, he was a basketball icon, a legend, so I think we all have a little Bulls fan in our heart."

So did Mayo ever think about following in Jordan's footsteps and playing with the Bulls, especially considering his name has bounced around as a trade possibility for several years in Chicago?

"Honestly, I never really worried about things like that," he said. "Whatever team I'm with I just tried to be focused with that team. I understand it is a business, but I really don't think about those type of things."

Belinelli produces: Bulls forward Marco Belinelli has struggled all season to find consistency. His low point came Monday when he was benched by Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau during a game in which his team blew a 27-point second-half lead. That's why his 11 points in 16 minutes felt so rewarding Wednesday night.

"Much, much, much, much better," he said.

Belinelli wasn't sure if Thibodeau was trying to send him a message, but the veteran shooter knows he has to work even harder to stay on the floor.

"I don't know, but I was so mad," he said. "If you care about the team and if you care about playing basketball then you have to be mad. So I was really mad first and foremost because we lost that game, I didn't play. I think when I go to the court I need to play more aggressive. Aggressive defensively and aggressive offensively."

The last word: Taj Gibson, on the Bulls' performance:

"Being in the NBA, especially in Chicago, you're going to get a lot of criticism. You have to just put that in the back of your mind, go out and play, and that's what we did tonight. Just went out there and forgot about that last loss, pushed forward against another tough team. And (we're) just looking forward to the next game because I know it's a long season, we have to take care of these next couple games, take care of home-court advantage when we can. It's a long season, (there's) a lot of bumps in the road and we're patient. We understand that we're just worried about getting to the next win."