Chicago Bulls Rumors
Gasol, speaking before Saturday’s landmark NBA exhibition game in Johannesburg, was asked about the Bulls’ dysfunction last season. “It’s hard to pinpoint the specific reasons,” he said. “There was definitely an inconsistency throughout the year. We were kind of a very up-and-down team even though we finished third in the conference. We still had a lot of games that we just weren’t ready to play, just too many games we gave away against teams that we were supposed to beat.”
Chicago Bulls star guard Derrick Rose is still undecided about attending Team USA’s minicamp, according to league sources. Rose has indicated in the past that he would like to play for Team USA in the Olympics, but sources told ESPNChicago.com that he is weighing the potential benefits of taking more time off before the start of Bulls training camp in late September.
“Well, I think offense wasn’t really too much of an issue last year,” Gasol said on a conference call from South Africa, where he’s taking part in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders event, which culminates with the first-ever NBA exhibition in Africa on Aug. 1. “We have a lot of talent offensively, and I think we’ll play with better flow offensively with Fred. We’ll have more freedom to play in transition and explore our abilities as individuals and as a team. As long as we understand that defense wins championships and makes the difference, and make sure we don’t neglect that side, we should be fine.”
And yet despite his consistent success over the course of his 14-year NBA career, the Bulls center is mindful of how quickly a team’s fortunes can change, meaning every opportunity to chase a title is a crucial one. “The window is very small. You never know when it’s going to close. You just know it’s going to close fast,” Gasol told reporters on a conference call from South Africa, where he’s participating in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program. “You just don’t know exactly when. So you do have to take advantage of every opportunity that comes along, and we have a great opportunity.”