When the Chicago Bulls traded Kirk Hinrich to the Washington Wizards back in 2010, it was an unexpected move. It was not smething that management wanted to do, but in order to attract LeBron James and other free agents, “Captain Kirk” had to leave.
Hinrich spent about half a season with the Wizards before being traded to the Atlanta Hawks. As a Hawk, he earned appreciation from some fans early on because of his defense and ability to run the offense.
Dane McGlone, from Atlanta, Georgia, has been a Hinrich fan since he was traded to the Hawks. Although he would have preferred Hinrich to stay in Atlanta, McGlone is happy for him.
“I wish Kirk could’ve stayed in Atlanta and played for the Hawks, but I’m glad to see him go somewhere that he is going to enjoy playing,” McGlone said.
Many fans of Hinrich share the feeling of joy because of Hinrich’s return to Chicago.
Desire’e Sharp is a resident of Salina, Kansas; she has been a Hinrich fan since 2001, during his college days at the University of Kansas. She has many feelings on his return, all of them good.
“Kirk returning to the Bulls is comforting and exciting,” Sharp said. “The comfort level of knowing we have a solid defensive force back in the lineup, the excitement of him back with his old teammates, the anitcipation of him and Thibs working together and just seeing him back in a Bulls jersey.”
Kiyana S. is a Hinrich fan from Chicago. She is very excited for Hinrich’s return, but the excitement has not been limited to just Illinois fans. Aleksander, a fan from Serbia, has supported Hinrich since his days at Kansas.
“I am very excited and happy for his return to the Bulls,” Aleksander said. “I believe he belongs there.”
All these positive feelings are felt for good reason. Many fans feel Hinrich will be of much help and bring good qualities to the Bulls.
“Kirk will bring his veteran knowledge of the game and also, his ability to be able to play with a championship contending team,” Ally B., a fan since 2005 from Hammond, Indiana said.
Isaiah, from Saginaw, Michigan, has been a fan of Hinrich since he was a Kansas Jayhawk; he feels Hinrich will provide what Chicago did not have last season.
“Kirk should bring a mental toughness from our bench that we didn’t have last season and [be] a leader that will show younger guys like Jimmy Butler and Marquis Teague the way to succeed in this league,” Isaiah said.
Daniel Boldt, a resident of Homer Glen, Illinois, has supported Hinrich since he was drafted in 2003. After predicting his return to Chicago, Boldt feels Hinrich will be a beneficial add for the Bulls.
“Kirk Hinrich will bring a lot of positive qualities to the Bulls,” Boldt said. “His defensive skills will fit in great with Tom Thibodeau’s system. He will also bring great veteran leadership and will be a good outside scoring threat to replace Kyle Korver.”
If Hinrich brings these qualities to Chicago, like he did in his first stint there, he should not have a problem becoming a fan favorite again.
Brandon, a fan of Hinrich since the start of the century who resides in Clearwater, Kansas, feels that there is something special about having Hinrich back on the Bulls.
“You get the feeling that Kirk plays harder for the Bulls because the fans love him and appreciate him,” Brandon said.
JD, from Sioux City, Iowa, has been a fan and friend of Hinrich for a little over 20 years. He feels Hinrich’s return is a wonderful thing.
“Kirk going back to ‘the Chi,’ as we call it, is a blessing,” JD said. He loves the city, the fans, and the fact that he is still close to his [family] and friends makes it enjoyable.”
After seven years in a Bulls uniform, a surprising trade, and an awaited return, fans have found the good in what is to come for Hinrich and the Bulls.