On July 8, 2012, it was announced that Kirk Hinrich would be returning to the team that originally drafted him, the Chicago Bulls. Earlier today, a press conference was held to introduce, or rather re-introduce, Hinrich as a Bull.
At the beginning of the press conference, Bulls general manager Gar Forman spoke about one goal for the offseason.
“Our biggest priority was to get a combo guard,” said Forman.
By bringing back their former captain, that priority was fulfilled. Hinrich, now a nine-year NBA veteran, spent his first seven seasons with the Bulls. In those seven seasons, he took on he role of a veteran combo guard and mentor, so trying to maintain the same role this upcoming season will not be a struggle.
Hinrich began the press conference by answering questions. He said he is “very excited” to be back in Chicago, and he is also “looking forward to the opportunities.”
With Derrick Rose out with an ACL injury, Hinrich was asked about the situation.
“Derrick’s gotta take his time to come back,” said Hinrich. “Everyone’s gotta step up.”
It is evident that Rose is a major part of the team, and with his injury, many people feel that the Bulls won’t be the same dominating team that they have previously been. Hinrich feels otherwise though.
“We lost an MVP-type player,” mentioned Hinrich. “He was a huge part of the franchise, but the core guys are gonna bring it every night.”
Hinrich was also asked about his previous injuries. Last season, he missed the first 17 games of the season due to a shoulder injury as an Atlanta Hawk, but he claims that there is nothing to worry about in regard to that.
“This offseason, I’ve been working really hard,” Hinrich said. “I haven’t really felt any ill-effects.”
Even with the injury last season, Hinrich found much interest from many teams in free agency. One team who showed much interest in him were the Milwaukee Bucks. It was not a surprise to hear Milwaukee wanted him considering their coach, Scott Skiles, loved coaching Hinrich in Chicago. When asked about Milwaukee’s better offer and Skiles, Hinrich responded ny saying, “I felt like we had a great relationship in the past.” Despite that, Hinrich felt Chicago is where his heart is.
:My heart and my gut told me that this was the right move for me and my family,” Hinrich mentioned.
Now, Hinrich is looking forward to developing a good relationship with Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. Both Hinrich and Thibodeau are known for their defense, although in different ways.
“I think it’s evident by watching the team how good of a coach he is,” Hinrich said of Thibodeau. “It’s going to be a good relationship.”
In the 2010 offseason, the Bulls traded Hinrich to Washington D.C. in an attempt to clear salary ca space. Even so, Hinrich did not have any hard feelings with the organization. It was not what he wanted, but the combo guard understood the actions and why they were made.
“I felt we were finally in a position to do something, and then I got traded, Hinrich said. “It was tough to swallow at first.”
He will now have to adjust to being back in Chicago playing with both new and old teammates. Hinrich admitted that being back is “a little bit strange.” Despite that, he feels it will be nice to be back.
“I think it’s a good fit,” added Hinrich. “I look forward to working with all the guys.”
On a team where the core remains the same with almost an entirely new bench, Hinrich says “[he is] just going to do [hi] best to help the team compete.”
With injuried behind him, a new team to play with, and a familiar city to be apart of again, Hinrich cannot help but look forward to the future.
“I feel like I’m on the right track,” said Hinrich. “I’m excited. I can’t wait for it to get started.”