The Bulls officially kicked off training camp this afternoon with media day at the Berto Center. Here are some quotes from a few of the particulars as the team prepares for the first practice Tuesday morning:
GENERAL MANAGER GAR FORMAN:
On the state of the organization:
"This is obviously a very exciting time for us. I know our players are excited, our staff's excited, and really, there's feeling within the building that there could be something special developing here long term."
On the team's biggest offseason acquisition, power forward Carlos Boozer:
"We were looking for someone who could score in the low post, and not only score but someone that we could play through in the low post. We were thrilled to get Carlos Boozer. We think he can fit with the personnel that we have on our team, in particular Derrick Rose."
On new coach Tom Thibodeau:
"There's no doubt in my mind that our team is gonna be coached to their potential. [But] with seven new players and a new coaching staff, there are gonna be some bumps in the road."
COACH TOM THIBODEAU:
On his first training camp as a head coach:
"I'm very excited. Obviously, I was not going to leave Boston unless it was a great opportunity and they had everything I was looking for - a good young nucleus, cap space to add players through free agency and a good group of guys. I love the type of guys that we have. They've been great to be around and I'm anxious to get started."
On his offense:
"We're going to start with our defense and our rebounding. I believe if you do those things well, it puts you in the open floor and you obviously want to play with pace, trying to get as many easy baskets as possible. So we want to push the ball up court and the first thing we're looking for are layups and dunks. The second thing is post ups and the third thing will be open jump shots. But we want to play with a quick pace, we want to play inside and out and we want to play unselfishly."
POINT GUARD DERRICK ROSE:
On his expectations heading into the season:
"The way I look at it, why can't I be the best player in the league? Why can't I be the MVP?"
On the state of the Bulls following the offseason makeover:
"I think we're good. I don't think we need any more pieces or anything."
CENTER JOAKIM NOAH:
On his feelings heading into camp:
"I feel I'm very prepared. I've worked hard [in the offseason], harder than I ever did before."
On his feet after suffering with plantar fasciitis much of the second half last season:
"My feet feel great. I've got a new shoe. It's not only funky looking but it's comfortable and it's light."
On his Rose's comment about wanting to be the best:
"Derrick is an unbelievable talent and things have really changed around here since he's been in Chicago. If Derrick feels that way, that's good for us."
On new backup center Omer Asik:
"Omer is someone who's gonna bring a lot to this team. The World Championships was a great experience for him. He's very big. I've got to play a couple of pickup games with him. He's going to have to adjust, but I think he's someone who can help us."
On working with Thibodeau during the offseason:
"I did all my work with Thibs, so I know where he wants me to catch the ball and where he wants me to attack."
On the Miami Heat:
"There's been so much talk this offseason and all we're doing is talking. I'm ready to play. Who knows how Miami is gonna be? Can we compete with those guys? I hope so, but we have a lot of questions, too.
"There's been a lot of talking. Let's just go out there and play."
POWER FORWARD CARLOS BOOZER:
On the team:
"We have a great group of guys. Coach Thibs, Gar and Pax [John Paxson] put together a team of great guys. We don't have any head cases."
On how long it will take the seven new players to blend in with the holdovers:
"I don't know how long it'll take, but as long as we're working hard, we'll be OK."