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Chicago Bulls get veteran leadership from Kirk Hinrich

Kirk Hinrich's experience and leadership boosts a Chicago Bulls team built on work ethic

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

After two seasons away from the organization, Kirk Hinrich is making the most out of his second chance with the Chicago Bulls.

Hinrich, who was drafted by Chicago seventh overall in the 2003 NBA Draft, spent his first seven NBA seasons with the Bulls before playing with the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards the past two years. Now that he is back in Chicago and looking at significant playing time with star point guard Derrick Rose still recovering from a torn ACL, Hinrich is focusing on having a good time in his new role. Writes Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago, "It's clear that he is enjoying his second life in a Chicago uniform."

"I just tried to approach it as a new stage in my career," Hinrich said. "I'm looking as it as an opportunity. I'm on a team that kind of values the same things I value. And it's been fun so far."

Hinrich played under head coaches Scott Skiles and Vinny Del Negro during his tenure with the Bulls, but he left the organization just prior to the current tenure of head coach Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau is looking forward to coaching Hinrich and is excited about what the 31-year-old point guard's leadership can do for the team.

"He's a hard-nosed competitor," Thibodeau said recently. "I think the fact he was here once before helps a lot. He's familiar with a lot of the players that we have so I think that helps his transition. And he's been in a lot of different situations. He's a very good leader and I just think it's a good fit for us."

Hinrich is averaging 11.3 points and six assists per game this preseason.