The Chicago Bulls spent some time in Champaign, Ill. at the end of last week, and while they were there, were treated like celebrities, which is fitting, given the fact that they're ... celebrities. Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago had a post discussing the players being around the college atmosphere again and, predictably, being rushed from all sides by fans and people hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite athletes.
Taj Gibson was one such member of the Bulls. He's in just his fourth season as an NBA player, but he was fielding requests from all sides from people looking to get a taste of what it's like to play in the big leagues:
"It feels surreal. You look at the campus ... you're just thinking back to how when you were young, being on a college campus, no worries, just having fun, partying, meeting new people. That's the way I felt, I was meeting new people every five minutes so it was great."
Gibson enjoyed the spotlight, but he did note that the day was virtually lost as he wasn't able to get anything done. Fellow Bulls players Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich talked about how it was nice to get the attention and be back around the college atmosphere, but both of them have experienced this before, saying the day was pretty much a loss for anything productive (including doing things like eating food).
Still, lost day or not, it's clear the Bulls players enjoyed the attention, away from the spotlight of the big city.