CHICAGO – Chemistry was an issue for the Bulls last year.
New coach. Different leader. Same expectations, all of which fell short.
However, the new additions, some by subtraction, seem to be gelling.
One of the biggest reasons for the change in culture is Chicago-native Dwyane Wade.
He knows how to win.
Despite having 13 years of NBA experience under his belt, Wade is still open to learning, even if it’s from a team playing a different sport altogether – like the Cubs.
"Whenever a team wins you learn a lot from them. It's all about winning right?," remarked Wade at Bulls practice Sunday. "That team has figured out a way, even during this series. It looked like their backs were against the wall and they came out swinging. They stuck together. They look like the have a great time together. That's what it's about. You've got to support each other. No matter who's on the basketball court for us, who's on the bench, it's all about supporting each other and really caring about the other guy. When you start caring about the other person, you don't want to let that other person down on the basketball floor, you become a better team because of that."
Head coach Fred Hoiberg feels the same way.
"Just how together that team is. How much of a confidence, how much of a swagger they play with. It's just a fun team that looks like it has unbelievable chemistry. They all get along. They play every game. It's a team I think you can learn from with what they're doing and the backing that they have from the city., from Cub fans, from the time they were born like myself. It's just been awesome to watch to see the celebration after the game. Four more to go and I like their chances just because of how confident they're playing."
Hoiberg isn't the only Bull who grew up a Cubs fan.
Doug McDermott did too, like most Iowans.
Dwyane Wade isn't claiming to be a life-long Cubbie backer, but he likes watching them play.
Only thing he didn't like last night? Scottie Pippen's singing.
"I know Scottie butched the seventh inning stretch, but I think me and Jimmy and Rondo - we could do a good job together if they ask us to do it. It's just cool to be a part of it. If they show us [on the broadcast] while we're there it's cool. If they don't, it's still cool. It's about the Cubs."