Gar Forman

The Bulls have been out of the NBA action since April, but off-season chatter is booming. If you’ve blocked out the Bulls since they missed the playoffs, you may be a bit out of the loop, but let me catch you up on the details consuming Chicago fans.

First, the Minnesota Timberwolves named ex-Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau the president of operations as well as the head coach of their organization in April. Basically, the T-wolves gave Thibs the reigns and said “make us a contender pretty please.” Thibodeau got pushed out of the Bulls organization after the 2015 season mostly because he didn’t see eye-to-eye with the front office – specifically Gar Forman and John Paxson. Despite his winning  the Coach of the Year award in 2011 and tying the record for most wins (62) for a rookie coach, Gar and Paxson figured Thibs was the problem with the Bulls. Then the Bulls hired pretty-boy Fred Hoiberg, had the rockiest season I can remember and missed the playoffs entirely. Just loads and loads of disappointment.

Fast forward to May, as news broke that Joakim Noah was over the Chicago Bulls organization and will be exploring his options as an unrestricted free agent this off-season. WHAT! Literally my heart shattered into a million pieces. Jo-No has been a staple in Chicago since being drafted by the Bulls in 2007. He’s given his heart and soul to the team, been viewed as a leader and then Hoiberg struts in and takes away his starting lineup spot. Now, it’s understandable that Hoiberg was trying to jazz things up and find a rhythm for his new team, but pushing his veteran out of the picture probably wasn’t his best move. However, Noah didn’t specifically bring up losing his starting spot as a reason for his desire to move on from the Bulls. Instead, it was all focused on the front office. A fellow player said Noah has no trust in the front office moving the team in the right direction and that players don’t trust Gar Forman. Rumor has it there’s an assistant coach who is also a little tattle tale and tells Gar everything that happens with the team. That same player also indicated that former head coach Thibs acted as a buffer between the front office and the team, which is probably why he got pushed out.

Jo-No is coming off his worst statistical season of his career, only appearing in 29 games, averaging only 4.3 points and shooting under 40 percent from the floor. Let’s not forget about the season ending shoulder injury he suffered and has been rehabilitating. Although the demand for Noah may not be what it once had been, he’s still a presence to be reckoned with. Also any team looking for a veteran leader with sick rebounding abilities would be interested in Noah. He’s 31 and could easily revive his career if he can stay healthy.

This week, rumor has it that Thibodeau is interested in shopping for Joakim Noah during free agency. Honestly, I’m not surprised. Noah had his absolute best seasons under coach Thibodeau and won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2014 with Thibs by his side. Why wouldn’t Joakim want to reunite with his favorite head coach?

So where does that leave the Bulls? A hot damn mess. Pau Gasol is also a free agent come the off-season so technically the Bulls could be without both veteran centers. Rumors are surfacing that the Bulls should trade Jimmy Butler and completely rebuild. Looks like we may be stuck with Derrick Rose and his two surgically repaired knees. Ummm, go T-Wolves? Thank goodness it’s baseball season.

 

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After five seasons, case zero NBA championships and a reputation of running starting players into the ground, viagra the Chicago Bulls dismissed head coach Tom Thibodeau after last season. I know, doctor I know. He may have won Coach of the Year in 2013, but being a stubborn arse doesn’t get you any where in life. In June, Chicago hired Fred Hoiberg to take over at head coach. If you’re like myself and took a quick break from NBA basketball after the Michael Jordan era, you may be thinking “who is this Fred Hoiberg guy?” Well, let me give you the low down.

First, lets give this handsome fella a quick search on google image. I mean, thank you for the eye candy Bulls. Compared to Thibodeau (who I swear looked like Danny DeVito’s Penguin villain in Batman), Hoiberg is literally a male model.

More importantly, let us learn a bit about why this man is qualified to coach an NBA basketball team. Hoiberg was most recently the head coach for Iowa State and basically the mayor/savior of Ames, Iowa. He grew up in Ames, played basketball in Ames and is notably the most popular player in Iowa State basketball history. After college Hoiberg was drafted as a Shooting Guard by the Indiana Pacers in 1995 and after four years was picked up by the Chicago Bulls as a free agent. Unfortunately, Hoiberg was a Bull during the “re-building years” post Jordan and the team never really did too much, but his reputation was that of a good shooter and great teammate. He also built relationships with John Paxson (VP of Basketball Operations) and Gar Forman (General Manager) during his tenure in Chicago. After four years in our windy city, Hoiberg took his three-point sharp shooting talents to the Minnesota Timberwolves. His career was cut short due to a heart condition, but Hoiberg joined the Timberwolves front office.

In 2010 Hoiberg became the head coach for Iowa State, despite having zero coaching experience.  In less than two years, Hoiberg took a terrible team (we’re talking 15-17) and transformed them into a competitor. Iowa State has gone 115-56 in his five years coaching the Cyclones and made it to the NCAA tournament the last four years.

It can be difficult to make the transition from college to NBA as a head coach, but Hoiberg is known for running an NBA-style offense at the college level. His offensive creativity is something many Thibodeau haters are very excited about. After some difficult and definitely frigid relationships with Tom Thibodeau and Vinny Del Negro, the Bulls are absolutely looking for a coach they can get along with. We know Hoiberg already has a great working relationship with the front office, now we just need him to have something special with the players.

If nothing else, Hoiberg sure is easy on the eyes. So that’s a definite plus. I look forward to seeing what this guy has up his sleeve for us Bulls fans this season.

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Missed a few headlines this week? Worry not, ask I’ve got my finger on the sports pulse for you. Below is my weekly round-up of what’s trending in sports: perfect for water coolers, no rx cocktail parties, ask sports bars and board rooms.

HOT

Source: ESPN The Magazine Body Issue 2012

  • Gronkin’ out at the Oscars: Yes, you read that right. Rob Gronkowski, as in the flamboyant New England Patriots’ tight end, who has never been in a movie or in fact acted, will be on the red carpet this Sunday for the Oscars. NFL Network has picked Gronk as their red carpet correspondent for the biggest night in Hollywood. Will it be a train wreck or one of the funniest things an NFL player has ever done? The jury is out and personally, I can’t imagine Gronk having a serious conversation with Denzel Washington or Sally Field without admitting he’s a little too drunk. The Oscars were already on my radar but have now become a must see.
    • Danica finally shines in Daytona:  Danica Patrick is finally inching closer to getting her first NASCAR win after years of being in the spotlight as one of the few females in the sport and with only one Top 5 finish. The Daytona 500, the 200-lap 500 mile marque race of NASCAR is this Sunday, February 24th at 12PM CT on FOX.  Patrick posted the fastest lap for qualifiers which places her in the front row at the pole for the start. It’s a huge feat as Patrick is the first female to ever earn the top spot at the 500 and puts her in a great position to win it all. Go Danica!

  • Are Boozers’ days numbered as a Bull?: When the Bulls attempted to lure LeBron James to Chicago before he took his talents to South Beach, the Bulls made a risky decision to sign Carlos Boozer to a 5-year/$75 million dollar contract. Despite putting up the best numbers this season since his arrival, Boozer still remains the center of trade talks and Bulls’ GM Gar Forman is finally realizing that Boozer isn’t worth THAT much cash.   Hush-hush trade talks are about to become the spotlight in the NBA with the trade deadline on Thursday. If the Bulls make a move, it will involve Boozer getting the boot…possibly sporting a Raptors jersey by the end of the season.

COLD

  • Nike can’t catch a break: First Tiger Woods, then Lance Armstrong, now today’s scandal surrounds Oscar Pistorius. Nike has placed all of these celebrity athletes at the center of their campaigns, only to find them in the midst of sordid scandals and breaking the law. With Pistorius, who was recently charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, Nike thought they had another 5-star campaign with the “Blade Runner”.  Needless to say, Since Pistorious’ murder charges, Nike has ended their contract with Pistorious, pulled any remnants of the campaign and will wait to see the fate of their latest poster boy turned rotten.

    Reggie Bush

    From ESPN.com

  • Talks of Reggie Bush going to Detroit: Since the 2013 Scouting Combine is a snooze this year, NFL fans should be fantasizing at the opportunities that come with free agency. One of the biggest names…Reggie Bush. Lions’ wide receiver Nate Burleson spoke on Monday how Bush would make a perfect fit in Detroit. Not exactly what a Bears fan wants to hear. We don’t want the Lions to continue to pick up weapons for their army. Let Reggie land in the floundering Arizona or even with the on-the-fence team in Cincinnati. Just not Detroit. Bears fans are still trying to figure out a way to deal with new coach Marc Trestman and his hair. 
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