Rodman and Winter reportedly get Hall call


Apr 2

If recent reports are accurate, at least two former Bulls will be among those set for enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame when its Class of 2011 is announced on Monday.

First, Dennis Rodman reportedly confirmed on Friday he would be among those named. On Saturday, the Chicago Tribune reported that Tex Winter, the genius behind the triangle offense and a longtime assistant of Phil Jackson with the Bulls and more recently the Los Angeles Lakers, would also be inducted.

“Thrilled for him,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said of Winter. “I can’t think of a guy more deserving. He was great in this league for a long time, and a great college coach as well. Not only [because of] what he did for the Bulls and the Lakers, but what he did for the league. Great teacher and great coach. I’m very happy for him.”

Though Thibodeau never worked with Winter, he attended a clinic Winter held along with Bob Kloppenburg in Reno many years ago.

“It was a fabulous clinic,” Thibodeau recalled of the weekend, which he believed took place in 1999 during the NBA work stoppage. “I had an opportunity to see what a great teacher he was and it was phenomenal. It was one of the best clinics I’ve ever gone to.”

Thibodeau also was pleased to hear Rodman, who joined the Bulls for the 1995-96 season in which Chicago went an NBA-best 72-10 en route to the organization’s fourth championship, will be inducted.

“I’m happy for Dennis too,” Thibodeau said of Rodman, who saw his No. 10 jersey retired Friday during halftime of the Bulls’ meeting with the Pistons in Detroit. “I think he deserves it. Dennis was a great player for a long period of time. The way he played the game, it was totally unselfish. It was winning basketball and [he was] more of a complete player than he was given credit for.

“He was a very good offensive player as well—the way he screened, the way he passed the ball, the way he got offensive rebounds,” added Thibodeau. “Five championships; I think that says it all right there.”

Other Hall of Fame finalists from the North American Screening Committee include players Maurice Cheeks, Chris Mullin, Ralph Sampson and Jamaal Wilkes; coaches Herb Magee and former Bulls coach Dick Motta; contributor Alvin Attles and referee Hank Nichols.

“Personally, I think Mo Cheeks deserves to be in too,” said Thibodeau. “But there are a lot of great players and coaches that hopefully in due time will get in. I think what Johnny Bach did here was something that was pretty special too. There are a lot of great coaches out there.”

Noah sits again, but could return Tuesday vs. Suns

Bulls center Joakim Noah missed his third straight game on Saturday when the Bulls hosted the Toronto Raptors due to a sprained right ankle.

Noah took part in a spirited pregame workout on the United Center floor, but Thibodeau said he wasn’t quite ready to go.

“He’s almost there,” stated Thibodeau. “We’re going to wait one more day. He’s good straight ahead, but not quite there laterally yet.”

Bulls vs. Raptors season notes

Toronto has won the season series against Chicago the last three years, going 8-4 against Chicago during that time (prior to those 11 games, Chicago won 15 in a row over the Raptors) … Chicago has not won the season series with the Raptors since the 2005-06 season, when the Bulls went 4-0 against Toronto … currently this season, Chicago is 2-1 against the Raptors and are averaging 111.3 ppg, while holding Toronto to 100.7 ppg … in their first meeting Carlos Boozer had a monster game posting 34 points and 12 boards, while Luol Deng added 24 points to lead the Bulls in game two of the series … Chicago is 16-12 against the Raptors at the United Center and 15-16 against them at the Air Canada Centre … in three games versus the Raptors last season, Derrick Rose averaged 16.3 ppg and 6.0 apg in 33.0 mpg and shot .457 from the field; Andrea Bargnani posted 14.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.00 bpg and 35.0 mpg … the Bulls are 2-2 in overtime games against Toronto, most recently dropping a 134-129 decision at Toronto last March.

Audio—Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau’s pregame comments (04.02.2011):

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