CHICAGO – A new era has started in the franchise’s history, even if a glance at the floor might look like a year ago.
Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr., Coby White and a number of other regular players from the 2019-2020 Bulls remain on the team even though the organization around them has seen significant changes.
Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley are at the top of a remade front office with Billy Donovan takin over the team on the floor. It’s a seismic change for a franchise that’s seen John Paxson at the top of the franchise for the better part of the last two decades as the Bulls look to snap out of a recent rut.
Eversley said he wanted to make the Bulls “cool” again like they were in the “Dynasty” era that was spotlighted in “The Last Dance” documentary. That process has begun now, with the roster from the previous regime helping to start things off.
Workouts began on Tuesday ahead of the Bulls’ first preseason game slated for Friday, December 11th at the United Center, when they face the Rockets for the first of two exhibition contests. Their full schedule is expected to be released in the next week as the league embarks on a very unusual 72-game pandemic season.
How the Bulls will fare under the new leadership is to be seen, but one thing is for sure for those who’ve been around the Advocate Center for a while: A change in personnel has brought a new vibe to this unique training camp.
“It’s just a different energy,” said LaVine. “I see them every morning. I get here around 8 o’clock and their already in the gym, they’re on the court with you, they’re talking to you about not just basketball, personal life things, what things to do you like around here, what don’t you like,. They want you to be upfront.
“They’re willing to change and hear player’s opinions. I think that’s something that’s been different than the past.”
Forward Lauri Markkanen said there has been a positivity among the group that was there even in the previous regime. While there is the need to show new leadership what he and others can do, the fourth-year forward says just getting on the floor again brings a burst of energy.
Remember, the Bulls haven’t played a game since March 10th since they didn’t qualify for the Orlando bubble.
“First of all, just being nine months, I’m sure everyones excited to play bacsketball and be around each other and have a good time,” When the changes happened, that brings more to prove now. that’s how we look at it.”
Doing so a little differently with plenty of change around them.