NBA

Doug McDermott Geared Up for Year One

Doug McDermott is ready to shine with the Chicago Bulls, and other notes from media day.

Joel Brigham profile picture
Updated 12 months ago on
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Like any kid who recently graduated from college, Chicago Bulls rookie Doug McDermott spent his summer moving into his first adult domicile and gearing up for his first full-time job.

Other than playing for what should be one of the Eastern Conference’s better teams, McDermott looks, acts and talks like any other young man his age. His summer has been hectic, but now he’s ready to get down to the business of playing professional basketball.

“I’m really just trying to learn,” McDermott said about his expected role on the team this upcoming year. “There’s a lot of great veterans on this team I can learn from, and (Tom) Thibodeau is a great coach and has had great success in the past. I’ll just do whatever it takes to win.”

For him, obviously, that means contributing on the offensive end. McDermott knows that, and he knows his successful Summer League experience helped push him in the right direction there.

“It will help, but it’s just Summer League,” he said. “Obviously the competition is not as good as it is in the NBA, so it’s something to build on. I learned a lot of the system. Not all of it, but I learned a lot of the plays, where I can become successful, and I’ve just got to build on that.”

Summer wasn’t just about Vegas, however; McDermott also had to move and acquaint himself with his new place of business—all of which is exhausting and exciting at the same time.

“I was in Chicago for a long time (this summer),” McDermott said. “I moved here, got a chance to work out here at the new facility… I actually got a place in the downtown area, not too far from here. I don’t have to drive a long ways to practice.

“There’s a lot going on, but being here in the Chicago Bulls’ facility is a great feeling.”

Unlike a lot of the veterans at Media Day, McDermott was flustered and a bit lost, but grinning like a kid who’s excited about the first day at a new school. He didn’t know where to stand for pictures or how to hold various placards, but he was clearly thrilled to be given the opportunity to play basketball for his favorite NBA team.

“I was really excited on draft night,” McDermott said. “Being a Midwest kid growing up in Iowa and North Dakota, the Bulls are kind of who everyone watches, so it was a great feeling. Everything happens for a reason, and there’s a reason I ended up here. I’m looking forward to making the most of it.”

Other Media Day Notes:

  • Back in 2010, Derrick Rose told everybody at Media Day that he thought he’d be the MVP that year. Even those of us that loved Rose had to chuckle at the bravado of such a statement. Of course, he did win MVP that year, proving that sometimes the quietly cocky Rose can back up the big things that he says. This year, he talked about winning a championship.”We know we have an opportunity ahead of us,” Rose said. “It may not be this year, it may not be the next year or whatever, but I know that we have one (in us). I know I’m going to win a championship soon.”
  • Joakim Noah had knee surgery over the summer but says he’s doing fine after rehabbing for the last several weeks. That’s essentially all he’s done this summer.”A lot more rehab, a lot more boring stuff,” Noah said. “A lot more boring stuff. But you know, the boring stuff is important. Having knee surgery is very real, especially when you’re jumping and playing basketball every day. It’s a grueling sport; I had knee surgery, now it’s part of my life. I have to do a lot of strengthening and a lot of activation and a lot of flexibility. Not that I wasn’t doing that before. It’s just being a little bit more conscious of your body. It’s just new and I just got to deal with it and I’ll be ready.”
  • Kirk Hinrich’s wife recently had twins. He’s thrilled, obviously, but looked more tired than I’ve ever seen him.
  • Jimmy Butler, when asked what he worked on this summer, answered, “My goatee.” He was in a better mood than anybody at Media Day, but a lot of his interviews went like that. More serious commentary will come our way once they start playing games.
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Joel Brigham is a senior writer for Basketball Insiders, covering the Central Division and fantasy basketball.

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