Previous ArticlesShocking Bulls season ending loss part II
Noah and Boozer offer post mortems at Berto Center
by Sam Smith
Posted on May 11
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Bulls players Friday met with management and coaches in the Berto Center, the last official team function and left to head into their offseason.
Luol Deng and Joakim Noah will prepare for the Olympics and most head to their homes around the country, while Derrick Rose waits for surgery on his torn knee ligament.
While most players drove out of the Berto Center without speaking to reporters, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer stopped to offer their day after thoughts after the Game 6 and series loss to the 76ers Thursday night.
“Learn from it and move on. You put all this work to come up short, it’s tough. But God works in mysterious ways, I guess.
“It’s tough (being hurt). There’s always things you can do better. I’ve go to strengthen my ankles. I’ve had ankle injuries through the years. It’s frustrating because I really feel I worked hard on trying to keep my body right. The ankle injury was unfortunate. Going full speed like that onto somebody’s foot, that could have happened to anybody. It’s frustrating, but nobody died. Learn from it and move on.
“Yeah, I’m gunning for it (the Olympics). We just lost yesterday. I’m kind of lost right now what I’m doing. I’m hoping I’ll be healthy and be able to play.
“I’m always going to be optimistic and I always want to play, but I couldn’t finish my warmup (before Game 6). And that’s (just) warmup (so Game 7 likely was out). You’ve got to be able to make plays, be productive, or it hurts the team. There’s nothing more I wanted to do than be on the court. That hurts.
“I think the unfortunate part of this year is we didn’t measure up against the teams we wanted to measure up against. I personally believe this group can compete against anybody, the Heat, anybody. We had tough breaks throughout the year. That’s unfortunate, but it’s also part of the game. You learn from being injured, from the hard times. It will make the good times even better.
“As a player you can only control what you can control. It’s important (now) for everyone to regroup mentally and make another run at it. Derrick is going to come back. It’s adversity, but just another challenge for us. Like Thibodeau always says, ‘We are very privileged people doing what we love to. Let’s go out there, get better this summer. Come back hungrier than ever and make a run.’”
“Disappointed it’s over the way the game ended, the way the season ended. Obviously, we didn’t reach our goal. I’m still proud of our guys, proud of our season. I think we’ve established ourselves as being a contender when we’re healthy. That’s our motivation, to reach our goal and win a championship.
“Everytime you lose and don’t reach your goal, it makes you more determined. Hopefully, everybody will have a great summer. Obviously, we’ve got a lot of guys who have to get healthy. We’re dinged up. So we hope everyone gets healthy. We’re saying our prayers for Derrick as he approaches his surgery, and next season we’ll probably start the season without him for a few months, probably. So hopefully everyone comes back with that hunger, hit the ground running and start new.
“They’ve done a great job of putting a very, very good team together. They always make sure we’re ready to go, and I assume next year will be no different. That’s not my job (personnel). I’m still formulating (my plans). It’s all kind of sudden. Generally, I’ll be back home in Miami with my kids and my wife, work my butt off, come back next year in great shape and ready to go again.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of shoulda, coulda, wouldas. Every team goes through that when you lose. We were dinged up this year. We were like a car missing a few parts at the end of the season, but we were still ticking and going and fighting. We just fell a little short. Those games in Philadelphia were winnable, but we fell short.
“You have no idea how we’d like to have that shot (at Miami). But that’s home for me. I’d rather still be playing. But unfortunately we fell short. Last year (the taste of defeat) lasted all summer. To see them jumping on the scorers’ table, that stuff lasts with you for awhile until you get to play and compete again and show everybody how good our team is.
“They’re all tough (off seasons) when you lose. I haven’t won a championship yet. All 10 years have been tough in the offseason. But we’ll get healthy and we’ll be back and we’ll be very good and very hungry and hopefully we can stay healthy. Wouldn’t you guys love to see us at full strength and completely healthy when the playoffs start. We haven’t had that yet. Hopefully, we’ll get that last year. We’ve got the best fans. They’re always riding with us, supporting us.
“I just want to come back a better player all around, inside and out, offensively and defensively, a better leader. Continue to improve as a player.”