Bulls media day just wrapped up at the Berto Center and there weren’t many surprising insights being passed around.
The overall goal of the team is to play better defense this season. That’s a nice idea, now let’s see if they can put it in motion.
One player that did carry some questions into the building was center Jerome James, acquired last February from New York while suffering from a torn Achilles tendon. James said he fully intends to play this season, but doesn’t expect to be ready to practice for a month or two. James is definitely on the heavy side, but he always has been.
The other Bulls coming off injuries all proclaimed themselves in good health. Luol Deng said he feels great coming back from a stress fracture in his shin, but has only been going full speed for about a month. So there could be some setbacks or extra rest needed when two-a-day practices begin Saturday.
John Salmons said he’s having no problems with a groin strain that bugged him late last season. He didn’t have surgery, just rested at home in Philadelphia.
Jannero Pargo had surgery to repair a sports hernia and is still a little unsure of his health. He’s been playing in pickup games the past few weeks, but may need some breaks from practice.
General manager Gar Forman claimed Kirk Hinrich had the best summer since joining the Bulls in 2003. Hinrich wasn’t sure he agreed, but is ready to go.
--Someone asked Derrick Rose if anyone ever took the SAT exam for him and Rose answered, “I took it, for sure.”
That’s not really the Bulls’ problem anyway. Rose’s SAT score was invalidated by the NCAA and Memphis had to forfeit all its wins from Rose’s lone season in 2007-08.
--The Bulls added four players to fill out the training camp roster – former Vanderbilt forward Derrick Byars; 6-3 guard Curtis Stinson, a rookie from Iowa State; 6-9 forward Chris Richard, who played on the championship Florida teams with Joakim Noah; and 7-0 center Steven Hill from Arkansas.
The 6-7 Byars was supposed to be a good shooter in college and the Bulls liked him in the draft a few years back, but he hasn’t panned out so far in the NBA.
Hill, sporting a full beard and shoulder-length hair, looked eerily similar to Andres Nocioni. Byars wore the No. 7 left behind by Ben Gordon.
--Hard to tell much on media day, but Deng, Noah and Tyrus Thomas looked like they added some muscle during the summer, though it’s tough with Thomas, since he has so many tattoos now.
--The most relaxed man in the building was probably John Paxson, who sat up in the balcony watching Forman take on Paxson’s former role of dealing with the media.