Hannibal Buress is a Chicago Bulls fan living in Brooklyn, and given that both the Bulls and Nets are in this year’s NBA playoffs, you’d think his loyalties would be put to the test. But the breakout star of Comedy Central’s “Broad City” isn’t letting geography complicate things: he’s going with his heart rather than his home.
In the first Rolling Stone NBA Playoff Preview, Buress breaks down the Bulls’ chances of taking home their first title since 1998, muses about hoisting up a three-pointer from “the Hollywood Side,” and even gets in a few shots at the Brooklyn Nets’ mascot. He also claims to have inside knowledge about LeBron James’ rap career, which may alter the entire 2013-14 playoff picture.
The Bulls had a rollercoaster season, to say the very least. Some people even thought they were going to fold, but here they are, back in the playoffs … how was it, as a fan, watching this team go through so much adversity?
I loved it, man. Nobody really expected them to do what they did, especially with trading away Luol Deng for Andrew Bynum’s carcass. People were thinking that was a tank move, especially after they lost Derrick Rose for the season. But I’m glad they didn’t decide to tank. I’m not a big tanking fan … that’s what people do when they don’t want to work someplace anymore. ‘Yo, I’m tanking at Burger King right now!’ It’s a shame.
You’ve also had the chance to watch the Nets a lot this season; what’s the difference between a game in Chicago and a game in Brooklyn?
The Nets games do seem a little bit hipper. The first time I went last year, I was like ‘This feels like a crowd at a Jay Z concert.’ But I’ve gotta say, the Nets’ mascot sucks, man. It’s just a dude in a costume. I come from Chicago, where we have the best mascot. Benny the Bull, an amazing physical comedian and a legend. And then I go to these Brooklyn games and there’s just this dude, a knight, he’s just walking around with no true purpose. But, also, what is a Net? Like what else can he be? Who is he? What is he supposed to do?
It’s not all bad. You did get to meet Bill Clinton at a Nets game.
Yeah man, I just kind of walked up to him and took a picture. That’s what you get when you sit ‘Hollywood Courtside,’ which is by the bench – you sit there and you start getting texts like ‘Oh shit, see you on TV! You’re sitting Hollywood ‘Side!’
Is getting a picture with a former president the best thing about sitting courtside?
They’re great seats. There are times when the coaches are blocking my view. It’s really crazy, hearing everything. When you’re right there, you think ‘Hey, I could just run on the court right now.’ Or, if the ball goes out of bounds, and it goes to you, you think ‘Should I just shoot a three real quick?’ They can’t kick you out if you shoot a three courtside; you just get reprimanded.
Anyway, this is supposed to be an NBA Playoff Preview. It looked like the Bulls and Nets were going to face off in the opening round, but instead, Chicago got the Washington Wizards. How do you see that one playing out?
It’s gonna be a tough series. The Wizards are a good, young team. They can score. So it will be their offense against the Bulls defense. But, man, in the end, I’m taking the Bulls. They’ve shown all year that they can beat anybody. They’ve got a great coach, players like [Joakim] Noah and [D.J.] Augustin that have really stepped up.
So how far can the Bulls go this year?
They can definitely make a run; they play hard, they play defense, and that’s what the playoffs are all about. And all the other teams in the East, they’ve got some issues man; Indiana didn’t play well down the stretch, they could be kind of vulnerable. And Miami, [Dwyane] Wade’s not feeling good, his stomach hurts or something, and maybe LeBron [James] starts rapping during the playoffs, and loses focus, so it’s the Bulls coming out of the East.
Okay, so who do you see them facing in the NBA Finals?
The West is gonna be interesting, man. People are overlooking Houston. Portand is solid. With [Russell] Westbrook healthy, and [the Spurs’ Tony] Parker hurt, I feel like OKC will be back in it. But Blake Griffin has been playing really well, so maybe the Clippers could do something. But I’m taking OKC, Durant’s been nasty this year.
Do I even need to ask who you’ve got winning it all?
Well, it all comes down to Westbrook. He’s very unpredictable, man. You know how, like, after the whistle, some players like to shoot it up and players like to block it? There’s a clip of Westbrook blocking two shots, and he falls after the second one, so he might sprain an ankle doing that, just messing around, and then the Bulls take the championship in seven, man.