Bulls ready for 'business trip' to Rio

October, 8, 2013
10/08/13
7:04
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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When the question of dealing with any potential distractions in Rio de Janeiro was posed to Derrick Rose late Monday night, a wry smile appeared on the 25 year-old's face.

"What's the distractions down there?" he said.

Rose and his teammates know full well of all the distractions that may appear in Brazil, but they aren't concerning themselves with that as they get set to take off Tuesday night for their trip -- one which will culminate with a game against the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.

"It should be good," Rose said. "We're all professionals. If anything, we're going to enjoy the trip and we know this is a business trip and this is really our time to really come together."

That's the mentality coach Tom Thibodeau is preaching to his players. He likes the fact they have been away from Chicago for the past week and is looking forward to the bonding that should ensue being so far away from home.

"I love being on the road like we've been to start the season," Thibodeau said. "You're in a hotel, you're traveling, you have to build those habits, and so it's a good opportunity for team building. We've been together now for a long time, it will continue. There's a lot of stuff and activity going on on a trip like that, but it's also a great opportunity for us to represent the league and continue to build, and I think it's critical for us to understand that it's a business trip. We're not going there to have a party. This is training camp for us."

After spending the summer flying all over the world, Rose is looking forward to being with his teammates for an extended period of time.

"It's going to give us the time to bond," Rose said. "We haven't been around each other a long time because we have guys like [Luol Deng], [Carlos Boozer] goes back to Miami, I won't even be in Chicago [during the summer], I go out to LA. We always travel and try to explore the world, but I think this trip is going to help us come together and bond as a team."

Bulls center Joakim Noah is looking forward to visiting Rio again. He is hopeful he will be able to play Saturday after missing the first two preseason games because of a groin injury.

"It's a beautiful culture," he said. "Great music, great people, a lot of energy, and we're going there to represent the Bulls. This is as good as it gets. We're going to work hard and enjoy the trip."

Enjoy and work -- with an emphasis on the second part. That is what Thibodeau will tell his players over and over again over the next few days.

"The important thing is to build winning habits," Thibodeau said. "And how you prepare is a big part of that -- maybe the most important part -- to be mentally ready. In this league you can find an excuse every night. Whether it's preseason, you're on the road, you're going to a foreign country, you got a back to back, you've got four [games] in five [nights]. You've got an early start, you've got a late start. The challenge is to be ready whenever they tell you you're playing be ready."

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
21.7 3.3 1.5 40.0
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.4
AssistsD. Rose 4.9
StealsJ. Butler 1.5
BlocksP. Gasol 2.0