Dwyane Wade makes his official return to Chicago on Friday, and you can hear everything the Windy City native has to say.
The Bulls are set to introduce their biggest free-agent addition on Friday afternoon, with CSN+ airing and CSNChicago.com streaming the press conference starting at 2 p.m.
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Both Wade and general manager Gar Forman are expected to address the media.
Dwyane Wade is going to officially be introduced as a Chicago Bull on Friday, but that didn't stop Wade from going out in Chicago on Thursday.
Wade made a surprise appearance at Lollapalooza Thursday night at the Flosstradamus show, walking on the stage to the classic Bulls intro song Sirius by The Alan Parsons Project.
It sure seems like Wade is enjoying his return to Chicago so far.
The winds of change are becoming as constant in the NBA as it is in the NFL, as players and coaches are seemingly more associated with their own brands than they are their employers.
Former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is living proof of that and wasn’t surprised the winds caught his former bookends Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, as both will start next season as members of the New York Knicks.
Rose was traded before the draft in a multi-player deal while Noah signed a $72 million deal in free agency to go back to his native city.
“It’s sort of the nature of the league. It doesn’t last forever,” said Thibodeau, as the USA Men’s National Basketball team prepares for the Olympics with an exhibition contest against Venezuela Friday night at the United Center. “That was a special group of guys. From where they started, and unfortunately the injuries derailed it some but it was a very prideful group, a proud group.”
Rose and Noah’s best years were with Thibodeau on the sidelines, with Rose winning Most Valuable Player in 2011 and Noah finishing fourth in voting in 2014 before injuries caught them both.
“They never gave up, never succumbed to the circumstances,” Thibodeau said. “They found different ways to win, different guys stepped up. That’s the way the league works. Over time, people leave with free agency, change teams. I’m happy for those guys that they’re gonna get another opportunity. They’ve earned it.”
Thibodeau’s five-year run in Chicago certainly ended controversially and definitely left many wondering “what if”, but it he knew it wouldn’t be long before taking another position like the one he accepted to become coach and president of the Minnesota Timberwolves this spring.
As usual, he was gracious about the time he spent in Chicago, and the city itself.
“A lot of great memories. Five years coaching and I stayed last year,” Thibodeau said. “I love the city, the fans were great to me the whole time. You look back, you think of all the great memories you have. Great history, great tradition and we had great guys. It was very enjoyable to coach that team.”
Surprisingly, the workaholic coach said the time off was good for him, as it likely gave him a chance for reflection and an opportunity to rejuvenate himself physically and mentally from the unforgiving NBA grind.
“When you take a step back, and you don’t have the next team to worry about, you take a broader view of things,” Thibodeau said. “You get a lot of new ideas, it’s a chance to recharge. You learn a lot. Sometimes taking a step back is a good thing.”
[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans]
The next time Thibodeau walks across the United Center floor after Friday night, he’ll be in gametime mode as head coach of the Timberwolves, doing everything he can to get a win.
The smiles will dissipate and the general ease in which he interacts with the media and other personnel will disappear. But for right now, he’s an assistant to USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski for another Olympic run, hoping to help keep the United States on top of the global basketball world.
“This has been an incredible experience for me, to be around the great players and the hall of fame basketball people you’re around,” Thibodeau said