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Bulls training camp: Thibodeau lauds Kirk Hinrich for toughness, competitiveness

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau is a fan of the toughness and competitiveness that Kirk Hinrich brings to the team, especially in Derrick Rose's absence.

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The expectations for Kirk Hinrich's second stint with the Chicago Bulls are really all over the place. Many are tempering their expectations, given Hinrich's declining production since a 2010 trade to the Washington Wizards, while others are letting their fandom get the best of them and are expecting big things, especially with the absence of Derrick Rose. Regardless of what the fans expect, head coach Tom Thibodeau knows what he likes about Hinrich, as noted by Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago.

"He's a fierce competitor, which we like, and we think he's good on both sides of the ball. We like his offense, we like his defense and we like that he's a team-first guy. To me, those type of guys always add to the team.

Thibodeau went on to note that Hinrich is known for his toughness and natural leadership. The Bulls will roll with the same captains that they have over the last four years - Rose, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer - but Hinrich will definitely come in and be a natural leader in the locker room and when he finds playing time on the court.

Entering his 10th season in the NBA, Hinrich models his game off of the kind of basketball that the Bulls will need to play to win games while Rose is out for a large portion of the season recovering from an ACL injury. Rose is often the guy that tips things in their direction when mistakes are being made, so things could get a little ugly. Hinrich has made that his specialty though, so Thibodeau's feelings about Hinrich are well-placed.