Rip Hamilton admitted he felt lost during his first practice with the Bulls on Thursday but is convinced he will be a great fit once he learns coach Tom Thibodeau's system.
"It's going to be an adjustment," Hamilton said. "A lot of the plays are the same but there are different calls and things like that. One of the biggest things is adjusting to the guys on the floor, understanding their likes and dislikes and things like that. Hopefully, I can learn fast."
Thibodeau said he wouldn't make a decision on whether Hamilton will play in Friday night's exhibition opener against the Pacers in Indianapolis until after Friday's shoot-around at Conseco Fieldhouse. Thibs was impressed by how fit Hamilton appeared in practice and how quickly he was learning his schemes, however.
"He fits in with our team because of the fact that he's unselfish and he requires you to put two on the ball," Thibodeau said. "Most teams are going to trap him on the catch-and-shoot plays and he'll hit the open man. So it gives us something else we can go to. I like his size at that position, that can help us, and his experience goes a long way."
Hamilton said he'll play whatever role Thibs thinks best for a chance to play with Derrick Rose.
"I'm excited, very, very excited," he said. "There are not too many opportunities to play with the MVP of the league. The kid is very special. The kid can do any and everything. He showed that last year. I just want to help. I just want to be there when he needs me and be able to ride with him."
C.J. Watson will wear No. 7 so Hamilton can wear his No. 32, although that wasn't the biggest question regarding how the newest Bull dresses on the court. The Bulls wouldn't let Ben Wallace wear a headband when he came to Chicago from Detroit. Hamilton not only wears a headband but also a mask after twice breaking his nose.
"To be honest with you, that hasn't even come up yet," general manager Gar Forman said when asked if Hamilton would be allowed to wear his signature headband. "That's a good question that I don't have an answer for right now.
"We haven't allowed headbands. I don't know if with the mask that's required and where he is with the mask. That's something we'll look into."