The Bulls will start training camp a little earlier this year because of their trip to London for an Oct. 6 preseason game against Utah. Media day is set for Friday at the Berto Center, with two-a-day practices commencing a day later.
There haven't been many changes over the summer. From the 12-man roster used in last season's epic playoff series against Boston, Ben Gordon, Linton Johnson, Tim Thomas and Anthony Roberson are gone. James Johnson, Taj Gibson and Jannero Pargo have been added, along with a hopefully healthy Luol Deng.
On the coaching staff, Del Harris retired and the Bulls brought in Sidney Green as a big man coach. Green was the Bulls' first-round draft pick in 1983 and stuck around for three years before being traded to Detroit for Earl Cureton.
Why Green? That's a good question. He spent 10 seasons as a head coach at the college level, at Southampton, North Florida and Florida Atlantic. He was an assistant at Indiana during Mike Davis’ final season in 2005-06.
During his 10 seasons an NBA player, I don't remember Green as a classic big man, but more of an athletic power forward with a face-up jumper. Maybe that doesn't matter, since the Bulls' only true low-post center is Aaron Gray.
There are a couple of connections with the current Bulls. Green played with Vinny Del Negro in San Antonio for part of the 1992-93 season. He also knows Joakim Noah very well, because his son Taurean was Noah’s teammate on Florida's two championship teams. Taurean Green played for the Bulls' Las Vegas summer league entry in July.
I spoke to Sidney Green recently about what he plans to bring to the coaching staff.
"(I'll teach) the fundamentals of the game," Green said. "Being a head coach in college, I'm going to pretty much do what I've asked my assistant coaches on my staff to do: Do what you do best and understand the cause of our organization and that our success is bigger than ourselves individually. Bring more tenacity and defense and make sure the players follow coach Del Negro's script."
Green and former Bulls guard Randy Brown, who also joined the coaching staff this summer, are expected to spend most of their time working with players away from practice on individual skills.
Without Harris on the bench, Pete Myers will move up to the front row on game nights, joining assistants Bernie Bickerstaff and Bob Ociepka.