For starters, Brewer ready for a challenge
December, 2, 2011
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com
Gary Dineen/Getty ImagesRonnie Brewer isn't worried about whether the Bulls sign a free agent guard.DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls guard Ronnie Brewer has heard all the speculation about who his team is going to add at the two-guard position in free agency. He just wants people to remember that no matter who Bulls general manager Gar Forman decides to add, they will have to have to beat him for the spot.
A year after dealing with a nagging hamstring injury during training camp, Brewer says he is feeling good and is ready to take over the starting two guard role from Keith Bogans, or whomever else the Bulls bring in.
"I think Keith did a phenomenal job, and I felt like I did pretty good with the role I had," Brewer said Friday afternoon. "But now no matter who they bring in, or if they bring Keith back, it's going to be a fight in training camp. We're going to push each other and make each other better at that two spot."
Brewer said he would be comfortable if Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau decided to have him come off the bench again, but as he mentioned over the summer, he wants the chance to start.
"Whatever we've got to do to win, I'm all about that," Brewer said. "But me as a player, I've got to do everything I possibly can to put myself in a situation where I can go out there and contribute.
"If that's in a starting role, if that's coming off the bench, I can't let that stuff stop me from what I've got to do to be better and to help this team so that's why I come in every day and I work as hard as I possibly can. If my number's called, I'm going to be ready and I feel like Thibs can count on me whenever and feel confident whenever he puts me in the game."
Like the rest of his teammates, Brewer says the Bulls only have one goal on their mind this season, but he realizes that in order to attain that goal the Bulls will most likely have to find a way to get past the Miami Heat.
"Our goal to start the season is [to] win a championship," Brewer said. "You know you're going to have to go through [Miami], those guys are going to be there. The Celtics are going to be there, the Hawks, the Magic. It's a lot of great teams. We're just trying to take it one game at a time and when that time comes, we're definitely going to be prepared and ready. And try to make a different result as last year."
Brewer thinks the Bulls have a slight advantage over teams given that their core will be back in place to start the season.
"I think it's pretty good and pretty neat that we have a good group of core guys on our team already," he said. "By the end of this weekend, you're going to have almost everybody back in town working out together. I think that's always helpful, especially with how quick it's going to be from [the start of] training camp to the first game on Christmas. I know when we get back going, Thibs is going to push us pretty hard and get us prepared for our first game."
With a shortened season, Brewer knows that Thibodeau will put even more important on each contest.
"Sixty-six games is better than zero, so I'll take however many games it is as long as we're able to play," he said. "And I think it just heightens the level of every game. Every game is important to get a spot up on your division. A spot in your conference and I think the intensity level is going to raise a little bit higher because instead of having 82 games and dropping a game here or there and not making it important, I think every game is going to be important, especially with so much talent that's in the Eastern Conference."
In the meantime, Brewer is just happy to be back at the Berto Center seeing familiar faces. As he began his session with the media, Thibodeau walked out of another door. Brewer had to chuckle.
"I'm going to put my head down when he comes," Brewer said.
Like the rest of the NBA, Brewer is happy to be back at work.
"I think it's a huge stress relief," he said. "I think a lot of guys were worried that the season was in danger of being canceled. A lot of guys had a lot of question marks. But we got a deal done. We get back to work. I think guys are coming early to get ahead of the curve and we're all looking forward to working and having a successful season."