Bulls share Super Bowl thoughts

February, 3, 2013
2/03/13
12:07
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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ATLANTA -- Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has a surefire prediction for Sunday night's Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers.

"One of the Harbaughs will win," Thibodeau said Saturday night.

As far as picking an actual winner, Thibodeau's locker room appears to be split. Most players are rooting for Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis because they want to see him end his Hall of Fame career on top, but they know how talented the 49ers are.

[+] EnlargeRay Lewis
Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY SportsSeveral Bulls are rooting for Ray Lewis to finish his career with a Super Bowl victory.
I'd probably like to see Baltimore win just because of Ray Lewis," Thibodeau said. "I think he's a fierce competitor but I like both teams, actually."

As a lifelong coach, Thibodeau appreciates what the Harbaugh brothers, 49ers coach Jim and Ravens coach John, have been able to accomplish this week.

"It's great," Thibodeau said recently. "I think it's great from the standpoint of, and I don't know them I've just read about them, but the fact that their dad (Jack) was a coach, a very successful coach in college, it's got to be great for him. I think the fact that they grew up in that environment and in some ways it's similar to (Bill) Belichick where his dad was a coach. So it's great, it's a fascinating story."

Thibodeau's favorite coach remains the same, though. That would be Belichick, the New England Patriots head coach. He spent some time with Belichick last year and came away thoroughly impressed.

"I have great respect for Belichick," Thibodeau said, "I've obviously studied him for a long time and I had an opportunity to spend some time with him. I talked about team-building and stuff like that. Carrying out a message, leading a team, communicating, teaching. He's as good as it gets and to be able to do it year after year is a tribute to his coaching ability."

Here are a few other predictions from the Bulls:

Carlos Boozer: "I'm rooting for Ray Lewis and the Ravens just because I want Ray to go out on top. That's who I want to win; (Lewis) is a big brother of mine so I'm rooting for him.

"It's going to be crazy, man. Two very good teams, great teams. A lot of emotion. I think when the emotion gets out of it you're going to see some amazing football. Both teams have been playing great all year, offense and defense, they're two complete teams. It's going to be a fun game to watch, a fun Super Bowl."

Taj Gibson: "Niners. I've always been a Niners fan. Plus everybody in the locker room, our training staff were all Niners' trainers, so (the) Niners.

"I think it's great (what Colin Kaepernick has done). I think he's done a phenomenal job. Being an underdog, he’s coming out leading one of the top teams. It's one of the top historic teams in this league. He’s done a great job."

Nate Robinson: "Oh, man. That's tough, I would have to say San Francisco. They're over there in that division with my Seahawks, they beat my Seahawks so I got to go with the team that beat my team to win it. They beat my team earlier in the season, and my dad's from California so I grew up a 49ers fan as well as the Raiders and the Seahawks. So 49ers.

"(But) you got to pay homage (to Lewis). You can't look past how his career ended and everything like that. To me, he's one of the best, if not the best, linebacker ever to play the game, man. He plays with his heart on his sleeve, he plays with passion, he plays with fight, he never gives up. The guy leads (with the most) tackles in the postseason.

"The guy gets like 12 tackles a game, he's everywhere and he's on his way out and that just shows he works extremely hard and God has blessed him so much, man, and it's shown. Everybody wants to say about this steroid or whatever the hell he used -- I don't believe in that. I know that's a man of God right there and it's working."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
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OTHER LEADERS
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