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Bulls eagerly await Hamilton


This news story was published on December 13, 2011.
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By K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Speaking for the first time about Richard Hamilton, the player, Tom Thibodeau pointed to experience.

“He has been a talented player in the league for a long time,” Thibodeau said Tuesday at Berto Center. “When we played against him, he was hard to guard.”

Speaking about Hamilton, friend and likely teammate, Carlos Boozer stressed excitement.

“He always has been a great competitor and winner,” Boozer said. “If he did come, that would be a great addition. I’ve admired his game for a long time.”

Hamilton, 33, has been offered a two-year, $10 million deal to sign with the Bulls if he clears waivers as expected Wednesday morning. Derrick Rose and Luol Deng already have praised the imminent addition of Hamilton, whom the Pistons bought out for $8 million Monday.

Doughnut duty: Just because Jimmy Butler is drawing universal praise for his work ethic doesn’t mean the first-round pick will shirk some rookie hazing. Think pink backpacks on the road, fetching doughnuts and washing cars.

“Don’t worry,” Boozer said with a wink. “We have some stuff up our sleeves.”

Butler, who isn’t expected to crack the rotation early, shrugged off any compliments he has received for arriving early and staying late.

“I’m the last one here for a reason,” he said. “I want to pick up things quicker like they had to do when they were rookies.”

Layups: Bulls ambassador Scottie Pippen filed suit against NBC, CBS and eight others in a U.S. District Court in Illinois for defamation, claiming those media outlets termed him bankrupt when he never has filed for bankruptcy. … Tuesday marked the first day of double sessions. “The morning session is pretty intense,” Thibodeau said. “The evening session is more cleaning things up. It’s more mental than physical.” … Boozer said he hasn’t talked to Dwight Howard, who is a friend, about his status with the Magic. “I hope he gets what he’s looking for,” Boozer said. Boozer added he’s not offended Howard’s camp has limited Howard’s potential trade market by stating he would sign an extension only with the Nets, Lakers and Mavericks. “I believe in what we have in our locker room,” Boozer said. … Individual tickets for all games are on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at United Center, TicketMaster and 1-800-462-2849. … The TV schedule features 10 appearances on WGN America, 10 on ESPN, seven on TNT, five on ABC and four on NBA-TV. CSN airs 35 games locally.

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©2011 the Chicago Tribune

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