Warrick gets used to new teammates
February, 19, 2010
By Nick Friedell
Bill Baptist/NBAE/Getty ImagesHakim Warrick will be counted on to help replace Tyrus Thomas off the bench for the Bulls.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Even Hakim Warrick was caught off guard by the news that he had been traded.
"It was kind of shocking," the newest Chicago Bulls forward said. "But knowing all the trades that are going down in NBA history, I can't say that I'm totally surprised because I think that they've shown in this league that anything can happen."
Warrick, who participated in his first Bulls shootaround Friday morning, was one of several new players who were acquired prior to Thursday's trade deadline.
"The last 24 hours or so have been crazy," he said. "All the texts and calls from friends and family. I think it's a great opportunity for me, and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm sure it's a challenge being able to change teams in the middle of the season, but it's still basketball, and I just got to get right with the calls. A lot of the plays are the same. It's just being able to put the calls back together. That's what I got to work on."
He will get the chance to do so against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said he will play Warrick and guard Flip Murray in place of the traded Tyrus Thomas and John Salmons.
"Hakim and Flip, for sure we'll get them out there," Del Negro said. "Get them acclimated as soon as possible. We'll try to put them in sets that they're familiar with. And just kind of work through the mistakes ... they're not very familiar with things. It's difficult, because mistakes beat you especially on the road, but both those guys are veteran guys. They've contributed to a lot of teams. As long as they play hard. Get after it defensively ... I think they'll be fine."
Warrick said the message he received from the coaching staff was simple.
"Just go out and be aggressive," he said. "They want me to score the ball, and it's something that I've shown in my career that I can do. I just got to make sure I'm able to rebound and play ends. Both offensively and defensively. It's something that I'm working on and continue to get better at."
Like so many other people his age, the 27-year-old has an appreciation of how good the franchise used to be.
"With all the history, growing up around my age, everybody knows how dominant the Bulls were with Michael Jordan," Warrick said. "There's a lot of history there, and it's an honor to be able in a place with so much history."
Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is just happy that Warrick and Murray are on his team.
"They killed us every time we played them, to tell you the truth," he said. "Now we just need them to kill the other people now. Help us build this franchise up. This team up. They're real nice guys. They just want to win. And that's what we need."