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Brewer eager to help in his return to Chicago
by Adam Fluck
Posted on Apr 7
In two seasons with the Bulls from 2010-12, Ronnie Brewer developed a reputation as a hardworking, team-first player with strong defensive abilities who added to the roster’s depth.
Those are some of the main reasons the Bulls on Monday signed Brewer for the remainder of the season.
“We’re excited to have him back,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said of Brewer. “I thought he did a great job for us the last time we had him. He’s a good pro. He stays ready. He’s a good fit in terms of character and experience.”
For Brewer, a 6-7, 235-pound guard/forward in his eighth year, it’s not just a return to an organization he knows well, but a chance to help out a team that is playing so well it has a shot at the Eastern Conference’s third seed.
“I’m very excited to be playing with Thibs,” said Brewer. “He’s a tough coach and I know his accolades. I play hard and I try to hustle, and that’s the type of players he likes. I’m just happy to be back with some of my old teammates.”
Brewer started the current season with the Houston Rockets, but playing behind James Harden and Chandler Parsons made minutes tough to come by. Last season, he began the year with the New York Knicks and started 34 of 46 games. But Iman Shumpert returned from injury and Brewer eventually fell out of the rotation. He was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder midway through the season, but averaged just 10.1 minutes in 14 games.
As for now, Brewer said he’s in basketball shape after having a month off between departing the Rockets and joining the Bulls.
“We’ll see how it unfolds,” said Thibodeau of getting Brewer acclimated. “He brings energy, defense, moves well without the ball. He’s been in the system before and has played well with a number of guys that we do have.
“We needed another body and we felt that he could pick things up quickly because he had been here before and he did a great job when he was here before,” added Thibodeau. “So I think he has the respect of this teammates. We know he’ll be ready. And if we need him, we’re not going to be afraid to throw him in there.”
Thibodeau pointed out that one of Brewer’s strengths is his ability to play with team concept. He also likes his experience, noting that it includes playoff experience, and knows Brewer will be a great teammate on the bench if he’s not playing.
Whereas Brewer often worked with Jimmy Butler during his first couple professional seasons, there may be an opportunity to similarly mentor rookie Tony Snell, whom Brewer shot around with at the end of practice on Monday.
“When you’ve been around this league for a while, you know what it takes to stick around,” said Brewer. “I tried to help Jimmy out, but I think Jimmy helped me out, too. We pushed each other in practice every day. Tony’s here and he works hard and he’s willing to get better. As a pro, you’re always trying to get better, day in and day out. That’s what we’re both trying to do.”
Audio—Tom Thibodeau on the addition of Ronnie Brewer (04.07.2014):
Audio—Ronnie Brewer talks about coming back to the Bulls (04.07.2014):