Weather Updates

Common points to Chicago before the upcoming NBA season

Commoff court All-Star Game. | Phoby D. Dudley

Common off the court at the All-Star Game. | Photo by D. Dudley

storyidforme: 38682035
tmspicid: 14231295
fileheaderid: 6519225

Updated: October 31, 2012 9:08AM

Basketball season is almost here. I cannot wait.

We could go back and forth all day on who’s going to take it all the way this year. For now, I’m going to keep my thoughts to myself. But have you noticed that Chicago always seems to be in the middle of the next big change in basketball?

I used to watch Michael Jordan and think that the game couldn’t get any better than what I was seeing. Can you imagine there was a time when Jordan’s type of play wasn’t legal on the court? It’s true. In fact, my dad used to play for legendary African-American coach Jim Brown at DuSable High School. In 1954, Coach Brown was the first to take an all-black high school team to the state championship game. That team ushered in modern-day basketball. Just think: A Chicago high school team brought us everything that makes basketball exciting today.

What’s even more exciting to me is the new talent coming out of Chicago and into the forefront. If Jabari Parker lives up to expectations, he’ll be the third No. 1 overall pick in the NBA within the last seven years who hails from Chicago. That list includes Derrick Rose, of course, and Anthony Davis. Add that to the Chi’s long history of great ballers: D-Wade, Tim Hardaway, Isiah Thomas, the late great Ben Wilson and me (I couldn’t resist!!), just to name a few. Along with having the only franchise to string together two three-peats in a decade, that puts Chicago in a class by itself.

Someone once told me that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and if history serves as a guide, Chicago will continue to be on the front lines of shaping my favorite game.

So, ya’ll tell me — who’s going to take it this year?

Common donated his fee for writing this column to the Common Ground Foundation,

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.