Opportunity to start entices Brewer


Jul 19

When the Utah Jazz dealt away Ronnie Brewer prior to the NBA trade deadline in February, All-Star point guard Deron Williams publically voiced his displeasure.

Williams complained that the move didn’t make the Jazz any better and even insinuated he may leave upon completion of his own contract. On Monday, when the Bulls introduced Brewer at the United Center as one of their own, he was asked about his former teammate’s reaction.

“The reason D-Will and I got along so well is I just want to be a part of the team and play my role,” said Brewer. “I don’t have a huge ego. Every night, I’m going to go out there and play as hard as I possibly can. The one constant thing that I’m going to do is play defense. There are nights when you’re not going to make shots. But every night I was in Utah, I played hard and I played tough defense. He respected that.”

Those words must be music to Head Coach Tom Thibodeau’s ears, as he and the Bulls expect Brewer to fit nicely among Chicago’s starting five that has rounded into form just over ten days into the summer’s free agency signing period.

As for his new teammates, Brewer spoke about what the team theme means to him.

“You go through so much with your teammates—conditioning, blood, sweat and tears—that you build a bond between each other,” he said. “I think I’m a likable guy. I can get along with pretty much all of my teammates.”

Brewer, of course, has a head start in that department, as he joins former Jazz teammates Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver on the roster. Therefore, he expects a degree of immediate chemistry.

“We know what each other can do really well; we know what we can’t do well,” said Brewer. “We had some success in the playoffs, but we didn’t make it to the finals. That’s a goal all three of us have—we want to add something to this team that gets us to that point.

“It’s a great core group of guys and a young team,” Brewer added. “We just want to do our part and play our role.”

Whereas Korver’s range from long distance will be counted upon to help spread the floor, Brewer doesn’t shot nearly as many threes. Rather, he takes advantage of his athleticism on offense and especially defense, where he’ll be assigned to take on some of the league’s best shooting guards and even small forwards at times.

Following the aforementioned trade, which sent Brewer to the Memphis Grizzlies, he was limited to only five games of action to a partially torn right hamstring. But Brewer dispelled any notion that the injury was an issue any longer.

“My hamstring has been fine for a long time,” Brewer said on Monday. “Towards the end of the season, I was healthy and ready to play. But with the circumstances in Memphis—we weren’t going to make the playoffs—they held me out.”

This summer, Brewer has worked out regularly, but his sessions have focused more on shooting and individual exercises than games due to the fact he wanted to stay healthy as he endured the free agency process. Strengthening his hamstring has also been a priority.

“That’s my goal going into every offseason—you want to come back the next season stronger, quicker and more athletic,” said Brewer. “That’s what I’m trying to do.”

Brewer also considered an offer from the Boston Celtics, but the chance to step into the starting lineup in Chicago swayed him towards the Bulls.

“The opportunity for me to come in and start and have a good role on this team,” Brewer said of what led him to Chicago over Boston. “With the Celtics, you don’t know how long [Ray Allen and Paul Pierce] are going to play. You can’t take away from the opportunity to start in the NBA. It’s a rare job. I think this team’s style of play fits me a little better—the way they push the ball, the way Coach Thibodeau preaches defense, I feel like I’m at home and in place.”

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