The Bulls signed Dwyane Wade for his leadership ability as much as for his production on the court and his addition is already paying off for the team, Nick Friedell of ESPN.com writes. Wade acknowledged that the coaching staff has given him free reign to stop practice whenever he wants to address something on the court, Friedell notes.
“No question,” Wade said after a recent practice. “That’s one of the reasons I’m here as well. One of the reasons they were interested in me is because of what I come with from the standpoint of being there. I’ve been to five Finals and have a lot of experience. Sitting down with [coach Fred Hoiberg] talking about all our young guys and what they can learn from me and also Jimmy Butler as well and Rajon Rondo as well. As I said in my post, it’s about us policing each other, us three leaders but also passing it down to other guys. So, yes, he gave myself — and I’m sure he gave Rondo and Jimmy — carte blanche to be able to say the things we need to say, but at the same time respect what coach is doing and respect what coach is saying and find your times to talk.”
Here’s more from the Central Division:
- Bulls rookie Denzel Valentine is expected to miss at least two weeks of action due to a left ankle sprain, Friedell reports in a separate post. “Denzel, he’s doing OK,” Hoiberg said. “He’s probably going to miss, I’d say conservatively, probably two weeks. [The ankle] is pretty swollen, it swelled up on him right away. It’s just about getting him right, keeping him engaged with what we’re trying to do with adding to our package and trying to get him better as quick as possible.”
- The Pacers have rounded out their coaching staff with one last new hire. Scott Agness of VigilantSports.com has the details on new assistant video coordinator Jared Bartling.
- Former Cavs coach David Blatt, whose ouster last season didn’t sit well with him given the circumstances, accepted an NBA Championship ring from the franchise, international journalist David Pick relays (via Twitter). “(Cleveland) offered and I graciously accepted because they presented it to me in a way that was very respectful,” Blatt told Pick. “The Cavaliers wanted to give me a ring because the organization felt that I contributed to the championship. It’s not my championship, I recognize that, but I also feel that I did something there. The big thing for me was that I felt that they felt it was earned, not given.“