By Anne Stein, Special to Tribune Newspapers
7:36 PM EST, February 17, 2013
In a regular NBA season encompassing 72 games, the Chicago Bulls will travel to 23 cities from coast to coast over the course of 51/2 months, visiting a few of those cities (New York and Los Angeles) more than once. Though they travel by private jet (except for a couple of bus trips to Milwaukee), it's a punishing schedule sleep-wise because players and coaches don't leave for their next destination until after a game. With hotel arrival times at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m., there isn't much time to explore their destinations, but players certainly have their favorite spots to land, usually related to family and warm weather.
Hometown: Juneau, Alaska, and Miami
Favorite NBA cities: Los Angeles, New York and Miami. I love going home to Miami and seeing my friends and family. And New York — the lights, the shopping — you land and you've got all this energy. I love LA because I used to live there, and I have a lot of friends there, plus it's always 75 degrees. You go in July and it's 75, you go in December, it's 75.
Favorite things to do there: In LA I love to go to my restaurant, Crustacean. It's an Asian-seafood mix. And I like to go chill in Hollywood or Santa Monica. In Miami, I go home, see my family and jump in the pool. In New York City, I love to go to Times Square.
Favorite restaurants: In Miami I like to go to Prime One Twelve on the beach. My favorite restaurant in New York City is Philippe Chow. We have one in Miami too.
Favorite vacation hotel: One & Only, Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico. It's awesome.
Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa
Favorite NBA cities: Besides Chicago? It used to be Seattle. It's pretty, it's laid back, and there are lots of good restaurants. Now I'd say Los Angeles because of the warm weather. You can go outside without a coat.
Favorite things to do there: I like all kinds of food, so I go to restaurants in LA. I try not to go to the same place twice so I can't name a favorite.
Favorite vacation hotel: That would be going to my in-laws in Burlington, Iowa, where they can watch the kids and we can relax. That's my favorite vacation hotel!
Hometown: Bologna, Italy
Favorite NBA cities: San Francisco, because that's where I played my first two seasons, for Golden State.
Favorite things to do there: I love Alcatraz, I love the restaurants, and I love the people.
Favorite restaurants: I spent a lot of time at Ristorante Umbria in San Francisco; it was my second home. The owner, Giulio, named a dish for me: lasagna a la Belinelli. I also like Ozumo for sushi in San Francisco.
Favorite vacation hotel: During the summer, I like to go to the beach, to Formentera (part of the Balearic Islands, Spain) or Sardinia — any hotel there is great.
Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
College: University of Southern California
Favorite NBA cities: New York and Los Angeles. New York because it's the city that never sleeps; you can come in real late, and there are always places to go eat, 24 hours a day, and it's home for me. LA is home for me too; I have lots of family and friends, and the weather's good.
Favorite things to do there: In New York I like to go to the pool halls around 34th Street and around Union Square.
Favorite restaurants: In New York I like to go to Junior's. I've got my table in the corner and the cheesecake is wonderful. It's in Brooklyn on Flatbush Avenue, right off the Manhattan Bridge. In California I like to go to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles in LA. I've been going there for years; we went there almost every other day when I was in college. It's unbelievably good.
Favorite vacation hotel: Four Seasons in New York is the best.
Hometown: Tomball, Texas
Favorite NBA cities: Thus far I'd have to say Milwaukee, because that's where my college (Marquette) is and I love to go back and see my people.
Favorite things to do there: I love to visit my former teammates and Buzz (Marquette's head coach Buzz Williams) and his staff because they did so much for me during the process of becoming a professional basketball player.
Favorite restaurants: Mo's steakhouse is where I found myself a lot at college, and every time I come back I take out my former teammates that I'm close with and played with.
Favorite vacation hotel: I haven't taken too many vacations, so I'll pass on that one.
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