Fred Hoiberg to add a personal touch to the Bulls


Fred Hoiberg to add a personal touch to the Bulls

Fred Hoiberg sat on the podium for his first Media Day like it was his 15th, cracking sly jokes, smiling easily and appearing relaxed without a hint of arrogance headed into his first training camp.

Of course, smiling came as easy as passing a kidney stone to Tom Thibodeau, but personality aside, Hoiberg is replacing a successful coach who gave this team an identity it lacked for so long.

Hoiberg’s task is to build on the foundation, one he readily acknowledges was established by Thibodeau through five years of grinding, prodding and more prodding.

Hoiberg’s signature may be a little softer but possibly—and hopefully for his sake—just as successful. The Hoiberg affect may be more personal, it may be more of an actual touch.

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So when he had lunch with Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, the man who took over for a successful coach and led his team to an NBA title, Hoiberg took note.

“We talked about when he took over, some of the things that he felt were important to do,” Hoiberg said. “And that was one thing he mentioned, I felt coming into the job that I felt I had to get out and see everybody. So after the summer league was over, that was my priority.”

So he loaded up on the frequent flyer miles, going to see each of his players in their respective element after the Las Vegas Summer League. Whether it was seeing Derrick Rose in Los Angeles or Jimmy Butler in San Diego or Joakim Noah in Santa Barbara, he met them on their turf, to introduce himself, to let them know a little about himself.

Not to establish that he wasn’t Thibodeau, but to show them he wasn’t going to be some empty suit.

“As far as the goal of going out and seeing everybody, it was really just to build the relationships up with them,” Hoiberg said. “And show them some areas where I thought they might get the ball on the floor so they could work on those skills when they were away from the gym here in Chicago.”

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Most coaches will tell you there’s only so much strategy that comes with being successful, that establishing a connection that will result in getting some stubborn men to join together for one singular goal.

“It’s going to be a little adjustment, but it should be challenging and fun at the same time,” Rose said. “We know that we love playing basketball, being under Thibs system for so long that now it’s a new vibe to the team, a new coach. He brings something new to the table where he’s more relaxed. I think the players should appreciate that more, I think we should appreciate it more.”

That’s not a shot at Thibodeau, but perhaps an admission that things were a bit sterile on his watch. Butler said Hoiberg’s approach has permeated through the entire coaching staff. 

“I’m excited. You see the way that they work together as a whole with coach Hoiberg,” Butler said. “They’re always out here with the guys working with the guys getting up shots, helping them work on their game. That’s important because you really get a knack for the guy you’re around and you get to understand and feel them, not only on the court but off the court.

“I think that’s just as important, so you know what’s going on in their personal life, so you can relate to them and all. They work really hard with that and always ask how we’re doing. And when we play basketball, it’s time for business. But other than that, they’re really good people too.”

[MORE: Gibson, Dunleavy give different outlooks on injury front]

The man who hired him, who seemingly bumped heads with Thibodeau and won, Gar Forman, has noticed the change. But again, it should be stated, the warm and fuzzy talk had better be accompanied by W’s.

“You can see the players responding to it,” Forman said. “And I think the players are as excited as we are about everything Fred's going to bring to the table. He's had a great summer. Our guys have responded and that's been a real positive.”

It all begins with two-a-days, and Hoiberg will have to make tough decisions on playing time, hierarchy and rotations. In other words, the honeymoon won’t last long with everybody.

“Training camp's going to be very competitive,” Hoiberg said. “When we step out on that floor tomorrow for the first time, I know those guys are going to be going at it and going after each other.”

NBA Board of Governors pass new, stricter anti-tampering rules


NBA Board of Governors pass new, stricter anti-tampering rules

After much discussion over whether or not the NBA should impose harsher penalties on teams for breaking the anti-tampering rules, an official decision has been made. The NBA Board of Governors passed a much more strict set of rules that will force teams to be compliant with the anti-tampering rules.

Among the new measures, the league will be selecting five teams per year that will undergo a "random audit", the maximum amount for a fine related to tampering has been raised to $10 million and team officials are required to save communications with agents for one full year.

The league will also retain the right to take the communication devices of owners if it is deemed necessary in investigations, though it has been stated that it is not something that Adam Silver wants to rely on moving forward. 

Though concrete details have not been released, possible punishments for tampering will reportedly include taking away draft picks, the voiding of contracts and more.

This is all in an attempt to create a more "even playing field" amid the belief that small-market teams are at a disadvantage when it comes to player movement. The new rules sound great but there is already fear among NBA GMs when it comes to how their privacy will be affected with this being a clear area of focus for the league. 

Along with the new, harsher tampering penalties, the league also announced that they have changed the language regarding traveling calls to "address the uncertainty around traveling." Another new rule announced was that teams are now required to announce their starting lineups at least 30 minutes before tipoff as opposed to 10 minutes, in an effort to "increase transparency for teams, media and fans." Teams will still be allowed to change their lineups up to the last minute if a player gets hurt in pregame warmups. 

All of the new anti-tampering rules approved by the league on Friday were a response to this wild NBA offseason we just experienced. There were many deals agreed to right at the start of free agency, such as the Bulls with Thaddeus Young, and the timing of those deals had many owners wanting the league to make tampering a greater focus. To a greater extent, moves like Anthony Davis forcing his way to the Lakers and Kawhi Leonard orchestrating he and Paul George's move to the Clippers are what got this package of anti-tampering measures passed.

Adam Silver has picked up a reputation as an NBA Commissioner who is very willing to listen to new ideas and make changes, and Friday's events support that reputation as he and the league continue to look for the best ways to get NBA teams to be in compliance with the anti-tampering rules. 

Is Ryan Arcidiacono trying to become the fourth Jonas Brother?


Is Ryan Arcidiacono trying to become the fourth Jonas Brother?

The Jonas Brothers are in Chicago for concerts that are taking place on Thursday and Friday night, and they have enjoyed quite a week. This week the trio has enjoyed a nice golf outing at Village Links in Glen Ellyn, had some quality BBQ at Bub City and even got the amazing opportunity to play a touch football game at Soldier Field. But one particular Bulls guard is looking to add another fun experience to their Chicago trip.

The Bulls organization welcomed the Jonas Brothers to the city with a set of custom jerseys for the trio and their significant others and that's when Ryan Arcidiacono chimed in with his offer. 

Since the Jonas Brothers have already got to play some football on the actual Soldier Field grass, Arci figured they might as well keep the Chicago sports-themed fun going and shoot some hoops with him. 

Now, Arcidiacono didn't make it clear whether or not he was offering for the Jonas Brother to get some shots up with him at the United Center, where their shows take place on Thursday and Friday night. But, either way, his time is running out as they will be moving on to Jackson County, MO for their next stop on tour on September 21.

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