After brief hiatus, Griffin returns to Bulls' staff

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After brief hiatus, Griffin returns to Bulls' staff

At 37 years old, Adrian Griffin walked away from a plum position as an NBA assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls, the team with the NBA's best regular-season record last season, in early July, citing responsibilities to his family and an interest in pursuing a career in the ministry.

Only a few months later, Griffin, known for his determination, toughness and defensive acumen during his playing career, is back on the Bulls coaching staff.

"I just needed a little time to take care of what's really important and that's family and getting everybody on the same page," Griffin told CSNChicago.com Wednesday at Herbert Elementary School on the West Side, where he joined other Bulls employees in a pep rally, in which the organization donated school supplies to an auditorium full of appreciative students.

"The Bulls were great about giving me some time to attend to my family and everything worked out, and I'm back to work and it's like I never left, so I'm just excited. I know things will work out for the better."

Griffin admitted that stepping down was a difficult decision, but the religious Wichita, Kan., native never questioned his thought process.

"It was, but at the end of the day, you have to put your priorities in line," Griffin explained. "It worked out where I'm able to be back at work and do the thing that I do love, and that's to coach. I do have aspirations of eventually being a head coach, but at the end of the day, your family's important and you just have to make sure that everything's OK on that end."

Griffin said the organization welcomed him back with open arms.

"Oh yeah, they were great. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, general manager Gar Forman and the entire coaching staff, they were very supportive," said Griffin, who played a key role in the successful season of one-time teammate, small forward Luol Deng. "We're a close-knit group and it was just good to have their support."

The transition was perhaps eased by the ongoing NBA lockout, as the Bulls didn't have any pressure to immediately hire a replacement or promote from within, although Griffin couldn't himself comment on the work stoppage, per league rules.

"I went right back to work," said Griffin, in a nod to Thibodeau, the reigning NBA Coach of the Year's relentless work ethic. "It was fun and I was looking forward to it after being off so long."

Griffin was joined at Wednesday's Kia Motors-sponsored event by fellow former Bulls players Scottie Pippen, Bob Love, Sidney Green and Randy Brown, as well as play-by-play announcer Chuck Swirsky and mascot Benny the Bull.

"It really puts things in perspective. This is what life is all about," reflected Griffin. "We were all here at one point, little kids wondering what we wanted to do with our lives."

SportsTalk Live Podcast: No Wade, no how

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: No Wade, no how

In the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Jon Greenberg (The Athletic), Lauren Comitor (The Athletic) and Nick Friedell (ESPN 1000) join Kap on the panel. 

The Bulls have defined their direction, but will that direction include Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo? 

Kyle Schwarber strikes out three times in his Iowa debut. How long will he be in Triple-A?

Plus, Joe Maddon doesn’t care about your lineup concerns, Jose Quintana auditions against the Yankees, and Scott Paddock talks NASCAR and NHRA.

Listen to the SportsTalk Live Podcast right here:

5 at 5: Meet the new Bulls, Cubs lineup changes and how Cubs, Sox are handling bullpens

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USA TODAY

5 at 5: Meet the new Bulls, Cubs lineup changes and how Cubs, Sox are handling bullpens

In Tuesday's edition of 5 at 5, Chuck Garfien and Tom Cooper break down the top five Chicago sports storylines right now.

Included is another new Cubs lineup, how Joe Maddon and Rick Renteria are handling the bullpens on both sides of town and a discussion of favorite old video games. Plus, reaction to the Bulls' introduction of new players Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine.

Also, which Chicago athlete would be best in a WWE ring?

5 AT 5 - 6/27/2017

The Cubs batting lineup is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. The 5 @ 5 wants to hear your thoughts on the batting order PLUS MORE!

Posted by CSN Chicago on Tuesday, June 27, 2017