After a couple of years of internal struggle between management and Tom Thibodeau, the Chicago Bulls announced their new man at the helm on the sidelines. The team introduced Fred Hoiberg as their latest coach, following in the footsteps of Thibodeau, who coached the previous five seasons and led the team to a record of 255-139. At the introductory press conference on Tuesday, Hoiberg called his latest venture as an “unbelievable opportunity.”
“I love this roster,” Hoiberg said after being introduced. “I love the versatility of the players, the different lineups we’re going to be able to play.”
In his time as the coach of Iowa State, Hoiberg created one of the better offenses in the country. The Cyclones ranked 28th in offensive rating, 39th in 3-pointers made, 46th in 3-pointers attempted, 17th in assists, and were a relatively low turnover team. Hoiberg used non-traditional lineups as he molded a program that became one of the more successful and heralded teams over the past couple of years.
He’ll take a similar approach while forming a unified voice with the management, something Thibodeau reportedly had trouble doing.
“I’m a firm believer that leadership starts at the top,” Hoiberg said. “We had that at Iowa State.”
Hoiberg will attempt to build upon the success the Bulls had recently, while adding a more stable offense that utilizes the strengths of all their players and turns everybody into a playmaking threat. With players like Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah on the team, this could be a great mix of sharing those playmaking duties. The team will have to hope a more manageable rotation and allocation of minutes under Hoiberg.
The Bulls still have to re-sign Jimmy Butler, who will be a restricted free agent after being named an All-Star this season. Mike Dunleavy will be an unrestricted free agent, but the rest of the key players on the roster will be under contract through next season.
“A lot of coaches don’t walk into a roster that has championship potential in a city that we know,” Hoiberg said.
The expectation will be that the Bulls’ new coach takes the team to the next level, which is a return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1998.