The Bulls are in Brazil. And while the energetic and worldly center Joakim Noah is soaking in the South American country's cultural aspects, coach Tom Thibodeau is unsurprisingly soaking in the gym.
The Bulls website posted a pair of video interviews with Noah and Thibodeau at the outset of the team's four-day stay in Brazil, highlighted by Saturday's preseason matchup with the Washington Wizards.
Noah, the son of a French father and a Swedish mother, is expectedly taking advantage of being in yet another foreign setting. It's his second trip to Brazil, though his first as an adult, and he's loving every minute of it.
"Brazil is one of those places, I've always wanted to come here," Noah told Bulls radio announcer Chuck Swirskey. "The people are full of energy, the culture's so cool. They've got great food, just an unbelievable culture, great people. Just to be a part of this, I couldn't be happier."
Noah, well known as a soccer fan and player, was looking forward to seeing some Brazilian soccer. When Swirskey asked if the Brazilian lifestyle matched his own, Noah smiled and answered in the affirmative.
"I think so," Noah responded. "They've got a good energy here. We're going to be able to go to a soccer game tomorrow. ... That's as big as it gets. As an athlete, to be able to feel the energy, to feel how crazy the fans go for soccer out here, that's going to be really cool."
Then there's Thibodeau, who seems to be having just as much fun as Noah, though it might not be related to seeing the sights and experiencing the culture. Thibodeau, the man famous for immersing himself in basketball, couldn't stop raving about the gym the Bulls were practicing in.
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"It just reminds me of one of those old-school gyms," Thibodeau told Swirskey. "It has that feel of a gym that everyone at one point or another in their life they had a gym like this. And when you think about your love of the game — actually the floor is great, and you can tell there's a lot of history to it. It's fun to be here."
Thibodeau and Noah both pointed out how proud they were to be representing the organization on a global stage. But it's good to see that even a trip to the other side of the globe still hasn't changed the culturally savvy Noah or the basketball savvy Thibodeau.