All-Star reaction Friday, as Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, center Joakim Noah and small forward Luol Deng all spoke about the two Bulls going to Houston for the All-Star Game, and the one Bull who was left off, in Carlos Boozer.
The best of what they had to say:
Thibodeau on what it meant to send two guys, and one isn't named Derrick.
"As I told them today, first of all I think it's a great honor for both Jo and Lu. I also feel that Carlos is having an All-Star year and he's an All-Star, he's just not playing in that game, so all three I thought were deserving. But I'm thrilled for Lu and Jo, I think it's a great honor. I also think it's an honor for our team and our organization, and all their teammates. When you win people recognize that, I think there's value in that. But Jo and Luol have worked so hard, and they've earned it. So we're thrilled for them.''
Thibodeau On Boozer showing enough that he should at least be a replacement player if that opportunity happens.
"I do, I do. As I've said, these things are always tough because there is limited space and there's deserving players. It's a very difficult decision to make. I think Carlos has been unbelievable, so I think he's deserving and it would be a great honor. And he's not the only one. I look at Golden State, and David Lee has had a terrific year, but [Stephen] Curry has been terrific as well, and he's very deserving. To me, both of those guys are All-Star players, having All-Star type years, and they're just not going to play in the game as of right now. That can always change.''
Deng on being an All-Star for a second-consecutive year.
"It's exciting to do it again. Consistency is a big part of what I want to be and what I do. I'm just glad I've had the chance to do it again. The way we've been playing and the coaching staff we've had the last three years, the teammates, it says a lot. I don't think I would get it if we don't have the record we have. It says a lot about our team. I didn't get it the first year with Coach Thibs but I felt I had a great year that year. The system is perfect. It allows me to show a lot more than scoring. I can show a lot of people what I can do. To do it again shows you're consistent. That's over with and you go to the next challenge.''
Noah on how the system has helped showcase his talents enough to be recognized.
"No question. I wouldn't be here without my teammates, my coaches, and this organization. They believed in me. I came in as a young, loud, probably a little immature, with a big mouth, and they always believed in me through the good times and the hard times, and I just want to say I appreciate them.''
Noah on did Boozer deserve a spot, as well.
"I feel like I wouldn't be in this position right now if it wasn't for Carlos, especially. He's somebody who demands so much attention because of how good he is offensively and I'm able to get a lot of easy baskets because of Carlos, his passing ability. I feel like he's somebody who's very well-deserving and I feel like we've been through a lot in almost three years now together, and I feel like we're playing our best basketball together right now, so I appreciate playing with him and I feel like he's somebody who's working really, really hard, and we know at the end of the day that our goal is not to make All-Star Games. Our goal is bigger than that, but I just want to say that I appreciate him because he's just as deserving as anybody.''