Bulls GM Gar Forman seemed play a little coy in today’s introductory press conference for new coach Fred Hoiberg, saying that the Bulls didn’t know that they would so quickly hire Hoiberg after firing Tom Thibodeau, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune notes (on Twitter). That’s in spite of a flurry of reports that came out in the wake of Thibodeau’s ouster that made it clear that Hoiberg was far and away the team’s top choice. Hoiberg nonetheless said he wrestled with the decision as lately as two days ago, Johnson also relays (Twitter link). The coach’s health, a concern less than two months removed from open heart surgery, nonetheless doesn’t appear to have been a stumbling block, as Hoiberg said that if the Bulls job posed any health risk to him, he wouldn’t have taken it, according to Johnson (on Twitter). There’s more of what Hoiberg had to say amid the latest from Chicago:
- Hoiberg said that he’s not concerned about the poor working history between Bulls management and their coaches, Johnson tweets. “I’m extremely confident we’re going to have a high level of communication with Fred,” Forman said, as Johnson also relays (via Twitter).
- The new coach cited familiarity with the Chicago organization as reason for making the jump now instead of when he elicited NBA interest in the past, and he gushed about the roster the Bulls already have in place, as Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com passes along (Twitter links).
- Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune presaged the pleasant atmosphere of the press conference but believes Hoiberg’s ability to keep a warm and placid demeanor will face a stiff challenge with Forman and executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson around. Still, it’s Hoiberg’s affability and gratefulness for the job that probably made him so attractive to a management team that wants a pliable employee, Rosenbloom opines.
- Forman and Paxson face pressure now that they’ve made their hire, given Forman’s strong push to nab Hoiberg and the growing list of coaches who’ve worked under the longer-tenured Paxson, Friedell argues. There’s no sense in the organization and around the league that either Forman or Paxson should worry about their job security, Friedell cautions, but Forman, in particular, would likely face scrutiny if Hoiberg falters, the ESPN scribe posits.