Bulls' LaVine notices a new energy as camp begins

  • Bulls guard Zach LaVine says there's a different vibe around the Advocate Center these days.

    Bulls guard Zach LaVine says there's a different vibe around the Advocate Center these days. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 12/1/2020 4:07 PM

It's been a long time since the Bulls wrapped up last season March 10. Since then, the roster hasn't changed much, but the front office and coaching staff is almost completely different.

On the official first day of training camp, Bulls guard Zach LaVine talked about what's new at the Advocate Center, besides all the pandemic protocols.

 

"It's a different energy in the building, I'll tell you that," LaVine said on a Zoom call with reporters on Tuesday. "I appreciate everybody that's helped me along the way and all the coaches. Sometimes that's just the way the NBA goes. But right now coming into this situation, obviously with the pandemic going on, there's still a big energy in the building.

"We have a liveliness to us and a willingness to work and go out there and prove what type of team we are. Obviously, we won't know that until we start playing. But we can definitely get prepared and have the right attitude. So this definitely has a different type of feeling to it because there's a little bit more excitement."

There was plenty of optimism in September of 2019 when the Bulls last opened training camp with talk of making the playoffs. Obviously, they didn't come close with their young roster and spate of injuries. They weren't even good enough to be invited to the NBA's Orlando bubble this summer.

At this point, there's only two new players on the roster -- rookie Patrick Williams and veteran guard Garrett Temple -- while Kris Dunn (Atlanta) and Shaq Harrison departed.

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The new coaching staff is led by former Oklahoma City bench boss Billy Donovan, while Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley are running the basketball operations.

LaVine was asked if the new regime has put their stamp on the Bulls yet. Is there anything noticeably different about the training camp routine?

"They're showing their faces in here," LaVine said. "I see them every morning. I get here around 8 o'clock and they're already in the gym. They're on the court with you, they're talking to you about not just basketball, personal life things.

"What do you like around here? What don't you like? They want you to be up front and they're willing to change and hear players' opinions, so I think that's something that's been different from the past."

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