Noah found there is no avoiding Thibodeau at work

Published: 9/27/20 4:19 PM

Perhaps the least surprising news at Bulls media day was that Joakim Noah had some interesting stories to tell.

The talkative center went into detail about his summer visit to the White House, joining a group of NBA players who played in a pickup game with President Barack Obama and met injured war veterans.

He also had an interesting perspective on new Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who insisted on conducting every single one of Noah's off-season workouts at the Berto Center.

"There were days when I would try to sneak by him and try to come in at night and stay away from him," Noah said. "Unfortunately, he is here from morning to very late at night, so I could not sneak by him."

What exactly was Noah hoping to avoid on those evening visits?

"They were tough workouts. He's very demanding. He pushes you to exhaustion, which is a good thing," Noah said. "It's a lot of repetition and when you're doing these workouts sometimes, it gets a little bit boring. He says, 'I like it when you say it's boring. That means you're getting better.'"

Specifically, Noah said he worked on endless hook shots and jumpers. Thibodeau didn't try to change Noah's sideways-spinning jump shot, but asked for specific execution.

"I feel like I'm very prepared and I've worked hard in this offseason, harder than I've ever worked," Noah added.

New coach, new plan: New coach Tom Thibodeau (pronounced Thib-uh-doe, not Tib-uh-doe, he confirmed) provided a brief, vague description of the offense he plans to run this season.

"We're going to start with our defense and our rebounding," he said. "I believe if you do those things well, it puts you into the open floor. You obviously want to play with pace. I think you try to get as many easy baskets as possible.

"The first thing we're looking for is layups and dunks. The second thing would be deep post ups and the third thing would be open jump shots. We want to play with a quick pace, we want to get the ball in the paint, play inside-out and we want to play unselfishly."

Deng feels alone: With longtime Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich traded to Washington this summer, Luol Deng became the longest-tenured player on the team at six seasons. Joakim Noah is second with three years under his belt.

"It's very weird," Deng said Monday. "We're definitely going to miss Kirk. It's also going to be weird for me going into my first season without Kirk, just like it was last year without Ben Gordon. There will be some adjustment."

Campers check in: No surprises among the final additions to training camp. Former Celtics forward Brian Scalabrine, guard John Lucas III, ex-Illini star Roger Powell and perpetual Bulls emergency center Chris Richard were at media day. The one truly new addition was 6-6 guard Kyle Weaver, who played in 68 games for Oklahoma City the past two seasons.