Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Bulls show they do develop in NBA
By Jon Greenberg
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim recently said of early entrants to the NBA, "You gotta have a skillset. They don't work with you up there. You're either ready to play up there or you're not."
Taj Gibson is proof that NBA coaches do work with players -- with great results.
Boeheim was absolutely right in that players can't expect to star, or even play in some cases, in the NBA based on college pedigree alone. But one part of that answer irked me a little: "They don't work with you up there."
Their growth illustrates how much better one can get in the NBA with the right mix of coaching and personal responsibility.
When I did a column on Gibson a month back, he raved about "Coach Mike" and his effect on Gibson's burgeoning game. That's Mike Wilhelm, a fairly anonymous assistant coach who's been with the Bulls since 2002.
Like all the successful teams in the NBA, each Bulls assistant works closely with two or three players on improving their game. Gibson is a favorite student.
"We watch a lot of film," Gibson said. "And after every game, we come in early and work harder."
They do work with you in the NBA, Jim. You just have to want to work. That's why the Bulls are so good.