Bulls consider new player, All-Stars and ghosts


Jan 27

The newest Bull, Devin Brown, is ready, willing and, he believes, able, but it may be a bit more time until he’s a regular for the Bulls.

Brown joined the team in Oklahoma City Wednesday. He attended morning shootaround, but wasn’t able to participate because the final paperwork on the trade hadn’t cleared the league office yet.

Brown, who was acquired for Aaron Gray and goes back to face his latest former team, the New Orleans Hornets Friday with the Bulls, is expected to be available for Wednesday night’s game against the Thunder.

But coach Vinny Del Negro says it’s unlikely Brown will play.

“(He’ll play) only on an emergency thing for a while, if there’s foul trouble or injuries or something like that,” Del Negro said. “He’s got to learn the system and plays and defensively and that’s going to take time because we don’t have a lot of practice time. As he gets comfortable and I get comfortable with him and him knowing what (we’re) doing out there I’ll try to incorporate him according to the situation.”

For now, there’s probably not much time, anyway, with Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich and John Salmons pretty much handling all the guard minutes. Plus, Del Negro doesn’t much use an expended rotation.

Brown had been starting for the Hornets, who have wanted to get more time for rookie Marcus Thornton and add depth with Gray. But Brown, an NBA journeyman at 31 and in his eighth season who’s been with several teams, said he’s pleased to join the Bulls.

“I’m obviously excited about being here and joining the Bulls,” said Brown. “There had been some interest (previously). I’m just looking to come in and do what I do, which is guard all the top guys, hit threes, get baskets in transition. So that’s what I’m looking to doing. I’m just trying to come in and contribute, do anything I can. Just to help this team win.

“They said come in, relax, and continue to play the way I’ve been  playing, hit shots, defend. We were starting to get things rolling in New Orleans. But it’s part of the business and I’m in a different situation now,” said Brown. “I’ve been on good teams, on teams trying to turn the corner. Cleveland, Utah, San Antonio. This is one of those teams that’s a playoff team that wants to go deep into the playoffs. So I look at it as I’m another piece to get to where they want to be. I see them as a team that always plays hard, a young team that gets a lot of things done. The sky’s the limit. The talent is there.”

Brown is one of the few players who wears a headband, which the Bulls don’t allow, as Ben Wallace found out. Brown will ditch his headband for his Bulls stay.“No problem,” said Brown. “It was the same when I was in Utah. Jerry Sloan doesn’t allow them, either.”

Regarding that young talent, Rose and Joakim Noah were awaiting Thursday’s announcement of the results for the All-Star reserves, and it was announced Wednesday Rose will play in the rookie/sophomore game with teammate Taj Gibson. Gibson is the second lowest choice on the rookie team with the Spurs DeJuan Blair the only second rounder. Gibson was 26th in the first round.

“It’s good I made it. But I’m even happier we’re even winning games,” said Gibson. “It shows that if you work hard and listen to veterans and come to do you job every day it pays off. I’m happy to represent the team. Derrick’s saying they’re going to smack us, they’ll beat us good. I’m just living in the moment. I’m just happy I’m winning games.”

Gibson also was happy to be moving onto New Orleans after the game as he apparently got a bit spooked by the stories from the Knicks earlier this season that the hotel where the team was staying, the Skirvin, is haunted.

Gibson at shootaround was telling Del Negro that his bathroom door slammed during the middle of the night and he didn’t have his heat or air conditioner on. Del Negro looked at him somewhat quizzically. Rose said he hung around in James Johnson’s room a lot. Oh, to be young again and telling ghost stories by the campfire.

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