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Bulls are aiming for their first post-Jordan title

Bulls are aiming for their first post-Jordan title

Posted by Liliana Castaño on October 02, 2014

“Hi, Paul.”

Midwesterners are still learning his name, but nevertheless, Pau Gasol received a warm welcome from reporters at the Bulls' media day on Monday. Chicago's newest star has arrived in the Windy City, and there was no need for a press conference for him to explain why -- he's here to win. Now.

The Spanish star passed on a host of opportunities this summer, including a chance to join the defending champion Spurs, the reincarnated Heat and the vaunted Thunder. Instead the former Laker chose, as Joakim Noah would note, the brutal Chicago weather – but also the promise of a deep and talented roster.

“I thought that the Bulls had a great opportunity and great potential to achieve something special,” Gasol said, who replaces the departed Carlos Boozer and adds consistency, passing and rim protection to the frontcourt – not to mention two championships on his résumé. “The longevity here was also a factor, having a nice mix of young players that are really hungry and haven’t gotten to that level yet, but are close. I just wanted to be a part of that, and my gut also told me, ‘this is the place you want to be, and see what happens.’”

There’s a fresh vibe surrounding this Bulls team after a somewhat stagnant feeling in recent years. Gasol is just one of several new faces on the roster, with rookiesDoug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic bolstering the frontcourt and guards Aaron Brooks and E’Twaun Moore adding depth in the back. How optimistic are people in Chicago? Tom Thibodeau’s even smiling in public.

 

 

The enthusiasm is rightfully there. The fact that we can wait until the fifth paragraph to make any mention of Derrick Rose says something in itself. But with training camp tipping off, all things considered, a greater question might be worth asking: might this season be the Bulls’ best chance to win a title since pairing Rose, Noah and Thibodeau together?

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