Scottie Pippen is hosting a a camp this week in Deerfield for young, aspiring basketball players. During a session Monday, the former Bulls great took time to discuss a wide range of Bulls-related topics, including Derrick Rose, Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Tom Thibodeau.
Pippen especially liked the Bulls' acquisition of veteran swingman Mike Dunleavy Jr. Pippen played for Dunleavy's father, Mike Dunleavy Sr., during his time in Portland, and knows his son will bring a unique work ethic to this year's Bulls squad.
"I think Mike Dunleavy was definitely a great pickup," Pippen said. "He’s a kid that I’ve been able to watch grow up in my years out in Portland. I know he’s a gym rat. And he’s definitely going to put in his time and do a great job for us this season."
Pippen also discussed Tom Thibodeau's opportunity to be an assistant coach for USA basketball going forward. The 47-year old applauded Thibodeau's efforts thus far in Chicago, but was also excited for Thibodeau's opportunity to learn from other coaching greats.
"He’s really done a great job here with our team; and now I think this is just going to give him more exposure and an opportunity to learn from some other coaches as well," Pippen said. "Coaching with Coach Krzyzewski, hopefully one day the opportunity to coach the USA basketball team will fall in his hands. It’s a great opportunity and a great experience to learn about international basketball."
Pippen also talked about the upcoming Bulls season and how Rose's return could spark a successful year. If the Bulls can stay healthy, Pippen predicts, the Bulls could be a very fun team to watch in 2013-14.
"I’m excited [about the upcoming season]. I think going forward we really have a great opportunity to put ourselves among the elite teams in the game," Pippen said. "With the emergence of Jimmy Butler—I’ve seen him in the gym this summer—I know that kid is really preparing himself to be a better player.
"I don’t have to say anything about our veterans like Luol [Deng] and [Carlos] Boozer. I know those guys are going to show up in shape ready to go. We all know Derrick spent a lot of time working and trying to get himself back at a high level. If we can stay healthy, we’re going to be an exciting team to watch this season."