Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose told the media on Monday that even though he normally remains firm on his policy of not recruiting players to the team, he did admit that former teammate Kirk Hinrich was the first person he recruited back to the team this offseason, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com:
“Kirk is someone I could see playing alongside a long time. When you’re a hooper and you know someone on the court is going into a battle with you, and he’s not giving up if he knows you are going to keep battling and I’m someone that will keep fighting to the end, and he’s the same as you, so why not have him on the team? Kirk is the first person I recruited.”
With Rose set to miss a majority of the season, Hinrich will see extended minutes often times while starting as point guard. Hinrich played for the Bulls from 2003 to 2010. He reunites with Bulls forward Luol Deng who said it hasn’t been the same since Hinrich left:
“When you have a player here, you kind of overlook what a player does. In the past few years that Kirk has been gone I think, everyone that follows the Bulls, you start missing what he used to do. It was clear defensively how good he was and how committed he was to the team. I’m happy to have him back.”
Hinrich said he’s excited to be back but said he remembers his time when he first started out with the Bulls and how the team was in a rebuilding phase. It wasn’t a team that he said he would call a success. But he thinks it’s a good fit this time around:
“I don’t feel that much pressure. This is a good fit for me. The way they play, the things they emphasize.”
Assuming Hinrich remains healthy and Rose stays on schedule to return from ACL surgery, the two will share Chicago’s backcourt on certain games towards the end of the season.