Fred Hoiberg is back in Chicago this time as the head coach of a team that has NBA Championship as it’s only goal.
“I love this roster,” Hoiberg said. “I love the versatility of the players, the different lineups that we’re going to be able to play. You can play small, you can play big. You’ve got lineups that I think can really get out and play with pace. You’ve got a great group of veteran players that know how to play. I think Tom Thibodeau is an excellent, excellent basketball coach, and I think he instilled a lot of unbelievable qualities in this team that hopefully I can build on.”
In 2010 Hoiberg was hired by Iowa State, and he went 115-56 since that time including 4 straight NCAA Tournament appearances and back-to-back Big 12 tournament titles. It was his first head coaching position of any kind, and now he has his 2nd with the Bulls.
Hoiberg had open-heart surgery in April, his second such procedure in the past 13 years or so.
Hoiberg, who played for Chicago, called the Bulls’ job “an unbelievable opportunity” and thanked their management, along with his Iowa State players and athletic director Jamie Pollard.
The questions are giant and Hoiberg has to find the answers quickly. Can Rose play at his former MVP level, how much Gasol have in the tank at 35, is Noah still a starter with his knee injury, and how can the Bulls get by Chicago?
The Bulls have lost four times in six seasons to James, whether he was with the Cavaliers or the Miami Heat. He has done to them what Michael Jordan did to the Knicks and Pacers in the 1990s.
“That’s something that I don’t think I can answer right now — how are we going to get by him?” Hoiberg said. “But as we study film throughout the summer and watch all the games, you have to try to beat the best, put a game plan together where you can accomplish that. That’ll be a big focus of what we do this offseason, not only compete against him but compete against everybody.”