The Bulls honored longtime player, coach and announcer Johnny “Red” Kerr on Tuesday night by giving him a halftime ceremony and dedicating the United Center court to him. The Pistons honored him by blowing a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, and giving the game away in an eventual 107-102 Bulls win.
“We thought it would be nice to send the old guy off with a win,” said Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, who fouled Ben Gordon on what turned into a four-point play with under 20 seconds left. “Who is this guy again?”
Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace did his part by letting Bulls rookie phenom Derrick Rose blow by him on defense, then threw up an off-balance 3-pointer in the corner that fell a good five feet short of the basket, leading to the go-ahead basket by Gordon.
“It’s the least I could do on Red’s special night. I loved that cat on ‘Sanford & Son,'” Wallace said.
Gordon led the Bulls with 25 points. Tyrus Thomas decided to show up and added 22 points and 10 rebounds.
More on the ceremony
The halftime ceremony honoring Kerr included a taped message from President Obama, along with speeches by Michael Jordan, Scotty Pippen and a bunch of old dudes nobody had ever heard of. Obama thanked Kerr for his contributions to Chicago basketball and asked if he had any ideas for stimulating the economy. Jordan rudely threw a bunch of chalk in Kerr’s face and then thanked him for covering some of his gambling debts from the mid-’90s.
Rose had 23 points and four assists, but missed the end of the game after hitting his head on a Pistons screen late in the game. Welcome to the rivalry, Derrick!