Ahead of summer league, Bulls' Hoiberg warms up at Cell


CHICAGO -- New Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg has the tall task of following in Tom Thibodeau’s footsteps on the court, not the pitching mound.

On Monday, Hoiberg donned a White Sox jersey and came out to U.S. Cellular Field, but, unlike his predecessor, the new Bulls coach didn’t throw a pitch. That honor went to first-round draft pick Bobby Portis.

In May, Bulls.com writer Sam Smith shared a funny story about Thibodeau practicing for hours before a first pitch in 2011.

While ignoring his side sessions at the park, Hoiberg has been running individual workouts at the Advocate Center for part of the past month. On Tuesday, Hoiberg will lead his first team practice with the Bulls' summer league squad. The Las Vegas Summer League begins play Friday and the Bulls open their summer season against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.

Hoiberg said Tony Snell is going to practice with the team, while Portis and 2014 draft picks Doug McDermott and Cameron Bairstow will play. Guard E'Twaun Moore will meet the team in Las Vegas.

“We’ve been doing a lot of individual workouts, a lot of guys have stayed in town,” Hoiberg said. “And I’m looking forward to getting out there and start going, put some things in, some more offensive philosophies, defense. Can’t overwhelm them with only three days of practice.”

The Bulls still have holes to fill at backup point guard and assistant coach. The team is still looking to add someone to play behind Derrick Rose, and while veteran free agent Andre Miller was at Monday's game with Bulls general manager Gar Forman, the 39-year-old is probably not the best fit for Hoiberg’s up-tempo offense.

An assistant coach spot opened when Ed Pinckney, who was under contract, was allowed to leave for a promotion in Denver. Assistant general manager Randy Brown is a likely candidate, as the Chicago Tribune tweeted Sunday.