Cover image of “Always a Pleasure” by Chuck Swirsky. (Courtesy of Eckhartz Press)

Chuck Swirsky has been the radio play-by-play voice for the Chicago Bulls since 2008. A pioneer of Chicago sports talk radio, Swirsky has also covered many iconic moments in sports history – including L.A. Laker Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006.

In this photo provided by Andrew Kenney/NBA, The Michael Jordan Trophy is displayed in Los Angeles, Dec. 7, 2022. The NBA unveiled the new trophy on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, which will be given to the basketball league’s Most Valuable Player starting with this season. (Andrew Kenney / NBA via AP)

The Jordan trophy will stand 23.6 inches tall and weigh 23.6 pounds – nods to his jersey number and six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls – but is not a depiction of him.

WNBA star Brittney Griner deplanes at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, following her release in a prisoner swap with Russia, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
,

“So happy to have Brittney back on U.S. soil. Welcome home BG!” tweeted Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs.

Brittney Griner (15) runs up court during women’s basketball gold medal game against Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Aug. 8, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. Russia has freed WNBA star Brittney Griner in a dramatic high-level prisoner exchange, with the U.S. releasing notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. (AP Photo / Charlie Neibergall, File)
,

“She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home,” President Biden said from the White House, where he was accompanied by Brittney Griner’s wife, Cherelle, and administration officials.

Chicago Sky forward Candace Parker (3) drives to the basket against New York Liberty forward Natasha Howard (6) during the first half of a WNBA basketball playoff game Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo / Noah K. Murray)

Candace Parker had 14 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists to lead the defending champion Chicago Sky over the New York Liberty 90-72 Tuesday night in the deciding Game 3 to advance to the WNBA semifinals.

Northwestern running back Cam Porter (20) runs with the ball as Ohio State defensive tackle Haskell Garrett defends and teammate John Raine (0) watches during the first half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo / Darron Cummings, File)
,

The Big Ten announced Thursday it has reached seven-year agreements with Fox, CBS and NBC to share the rights to the conference’s football and basketball games. The deals go into effect in 2023 and eventually will allow the conference’s member universities to share more than $1 billion per year, a person familiar with the terms told The Associated Press.

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner, right, enters a cage in a courtroom prior to a hearing in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. (Evgenia Novozhenina / Pool Photo via AP)
,

U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner was convicted Thursday in Russia of drug possession and sentenced to nine years in prison. U.S. President Joe Biden denounced the verdict and sentence as “unacceptable.”

Hoops in the Hood gives Chicago young people a chance to play basketball and connect. (WTTW News)

Hoops in the Hood is taking over the streets of Chicago this summer by bringing kids and teens together to play basketball in their neighborhood backyards. Chicago Tonight’s Joanna Hernandez hears more about the mission behind the program and the leaders who are driven to make a change. 

Team Stewart’s Skylar Diggins-Smith, center, drives to the basket against Team Wilson's Candace Parker, left, and Sylvia Fowles during the first half of a WNBA All-Star basketball game in Chicago, Sunday, July 10, 2022. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)
,

A’ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart and the rest of the WNBA All-Stars wore Griner’s name and her No. 42 on the back of their jerseys for the second half of Team Wilson’s 134-112 victory over Team Stewart. It was another moment in the league’s continued push for Griner’s release from her detention in Russia.

(CNN)
,

WNBA star Brittney Griner has been in Russian custody since just before Russia invaded Ukraine. Her pre-trial detention was extended another 30 days last week — a sign some experts say could actually provide a glimmer of hope.

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner leaves a courtroom after a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, May 13, 2022. (AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Brittney Griner, 31, faces drug smuggling charges that carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The two-time Olympic gold medalist who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, was detained at a Moscow airport in February after vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage.

Chris Perfetti, left, and ensemble member and Artistic Director Glenn Davis in Steppenwolf Theatre’s world premiere production of “King James” by ensemble member Rajiv Joseph. (Credit Michael Brosilow)

The world premiere play “King James” spotlights the work of two Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble members who loved basketball long before they loved theater.

Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn dunks against Chattanooga during the first half of a college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Friday, March 18, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo / Keith Srakocic)

The Big Ten co-champion Illini (23-9) never led until the final minute and survived when Chattanooga star Malachi Smith missed twice in the closing seconds. His runner in the lane was swatted by Illinois’ Coleman Hawkins and his pull-up jumper just before the clock expired clanged off the rim.

Ohio State’s Eugene Brown III, right, blocks a shot by Loyola of Chicago’s Aher Uguak (30) during the first half of a college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Friday, March 18, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo / Keith Srakocic)

The Buckeyes (20-11) advanced to play either Villanova or Delaware on Sunday in the South Region while preventing another March run by the Ramblers (25-8), who shot 27% (15 of 56) from the floor. Braden Norris led Loyola with 14 points but star Lucas Williamson endured perhaps his worst game of the season.

Ensemble member and Artistic Director Glenn Davis, left, and Chris Perfetti in Steppenwolf Theatre’s world premiere production of “King James” by ensemble member Rajiv Joseph. (Credit Michael Brosilow)

“King James” by Rajiv Joseph receives a terrific world premiere by Steppenwolf Theatre. The play follows a friendship over a decade that began over a shared love for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

(Courtesy O'Malley Creadon Productions)
Chicago went wild when the Loyola Ramblers played in the final four of the NCAA tournament in 2018. It was the first time the men’s basketball team made it that far since 1963 when the Ramblers won the school’s only championship title and broke racial barriers while doing so.  But the '63 season was groundbreaking for many reasons, as shown in the new documentary "The Loyola Project."