DEERFIELD, Ill. -- For the first time since being named COO and President of the Chicago Bulls, Michael Reinsdorf met the media Thursday at the Berto Center and touched on a number of different topics. I was impressed with the way he handled himself, and after hearing some of his views about the team and the world of sports in general, I have no doubt that Bulls fans will enjoy getting to know him as well. He knows he's in a fortunate situation and he understands how lucky he is to be in the position that he's in.
"It's not like the Bulls are broke, that's for sure," he said at one point. "So I guess it's a little easier situation than people in other situations are similar to me."
Here are a few of the other highlights from the session:
On what his role with the team: "It's exciting for me because it gives a definitive situation for what I'm doing. I've been involved a lot with what was going on in the organization the last couple years, but in no definitive role. I've been going to the NBA league meetings as an alternate NBA governor, but again, it was kind of up in the year, like, 'What's my role?' So this now is clear what my role is, and at this point it's to make sure it continues on its course and we continue to be successful."
On a possible succession plan with his father, Bulls owner, Jerry Reinsdorf: "I say this time and time again, I refuse to talk about any succession plan. He's my father and I don't want him to slow down at all. I want him to continue to be involved every day. The nicest part of this situation I'm in now is I get to work on a daily basis with my father."
The biggest difference between him and his dad?: "I'll probably be more hands-on. I like to dig in a little bit. He's more top level looking down from 20,000 feet, and I'll probably at this point as president of the team, it's really my responsibility to be involved on a day to day basis with the team."
On having a visible presence at games: "Look, I don't know how many different games I've gone to over the years, the only difference now is that when a player misses a free throw I won't be able to kick anything. I'll have to be calm. But yeah, I'm going to be around. I'm officing at the United Center, I'll be there on a daily basis and I'll be probably at most of the games unless of course there's something to do with the family. My family is always going to come first when it gets down to it."
On his dad buying the White Sox [Note: He was just 14 years old at the time]: "It was incredible. I was the first White Sox fan in the family. When I grew up in Highland Park, there were two White Sox fans and I was one of them. I lived and died for the White Sox in the '70s, and 1977 was an incredible year. I remember making my dad take me to see Minnie Minoso play when he played a couple games, so I was a huge Sox fan. So when his group bought the Sox, it was the most incredible experience of my life. I'll never forget it. And luckily for me, I remember what it was like before he was involved, so I know what it's like to be a fan and it's been a lot of fun."
On the potential of this year's team: "This has got to be the best team we've had since the championship days. It's really exciting. It was exciting today to watch practice, the first practice I've seen and it was intense. They were working hard and we're going to be very, very very prepared."
On still seeing the fun in sports after all these years: "I love it. If anyone sits with me during a game they'll see how excited I get, how emotional I am. When the playoffs come by, I'm crazy. I'm into it. I think it scares my family sometimes when they see how much I'm into it. I also understand at the end of the day it's a game, but everyone's involved in sports, whether it's a sportswriter, working for a team, whether you're involved in the ownership. You're in it because you love sports and you want to win. If you don't want to win, then you should be involved."