Out of the many articles and social media stories about the departure of “The Mayor” and Iowa State alum Fred Hoiberg for his dream job as he became the 22nd head coach (including three prior interim head bosses) in the 50 year history of the Chicago Bulls.
The five year, $25 million deal is a dream come true for him and his family. I thought Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune got it right when he said,
“He absolutely could have stayed at ISU for his entire career and likely would have enjoyed even more success than the considerable amount he’s already brought to the program.
That would have been a good life. It would have likely built his legacy at ISU to something truly legendary.
But Hoiberg has shown time and time again he’s not concerned with comfort and ease. He wants to win at the highest levels and he has very little patience in getting there. And he’s supremely confident in his ability to reach it.”
– See more at: http://amestrib.com/sports/hines-column-hoiberg-right-where-he-should-be-nba#sthash.veQschba.dpuf
Coach Hoiberg talked often during the 52 minute press conference inside the cavernous Advocate Training Center, the new practice facility for the Chicago Bulls about “spacing the floor”, “getting more chances to take threes when they become available”, utilizing similar pick and rolls that the San Antonio Spurs have made famous, and not relying so much on long 2 point shots.
His Iowa State teams were in the top of the NCAA ranks as far as three-point field goal shooting percentage and overall attempts. Only Duke was more accurate during their run to the 2015 title.
In 2014-2015, when concerns over his aortic root aneurysm in his heart surfaced–he has determined that he wanted to take this chance and that he his full backing from his wife of 26 years in Carol and his four kids–one entering junior year in college and the other still in high school.
Similar to Billy Donovan leaving Florida for Oklahoma City and prior to that with Brad Stevens leaving Butler for the Boston Celtics, the lure of coaching in the NBA and getting that rare opportunity to take on the world’s greatest players was too much of an offer for Hoiberg to pass up.
Besides, he has been good friends with current Bulls GM Gar Forman for over twenty years. Forman was a one-time assistant coach at Iowa State.
What happens for Cyclones going forward
The cupboard is not bare at Iowa State. The two-time defending Big 12 Conference champions will bring back most of their key players led by Monte Morris, Jameel McKay, and Georges Niang. After he meets with his former players on Friday, Coach Hoiberg plans to watch some of those games when he can.
The rumor mill has Murray State head coach Steve Prohm (according to ESPN’s Fran Franschilla on his Twitter account) along with CBSSports.com reporting on Monday that longtime Iowa State assistant T.J. Otzelberger has the “full support” of ISU Athletic Director Jamie Pollard.
But another column on Tuesday by Jon Rothstein quoted ISU President Dr. Steven Leath who wants, “a brand name…someone with some pedigree.”
Either way, look for Iowa State to appear this coming October in my third annual season preview as of the 68 teams to make the 2016 NCAA Tournament before major reshuffling takes place in Ames for the 2016-2017 season.
But it will all come down to what type of defensive mind Hoiberg will bring in during the off-season. We already know where the offense is predicated on–give Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler as much spacing as possible and watch the threes rain down with regularity.
Even Joakim Noah could still be a force and Nikola Mirotic can score in bunches. Doug McDermott went to the same high school as Fred Hoiberg did way back in the late 1980’s.
Clearly, this team is marked for future greatness.
But back in the 1990’s, he saw the second half of the dynasty up close when his Indiana Pacers pushed the Bulls to the limit in the Eastern Conference Finals before surrendering in the seventh game.
He showed some flashes of brilliance as a journeyman type player during some very lean years for the franchise during 1999 to 2003, leaning on the likes of Elton Brand, Eddy Curry, and Corey Benjamin for support.
All I know is…as a Bulls fan since the middle 1980’s, first time NBA coaches do reasonably well. That is, except for another one-time Iowa State coach named Tim Floyd. And we all know what a train wreck that time was.
After wrestling with the decision to come home to Chicago, he made his family aware of it on Monday night. We will see how much fun Da Bulls will be going forward.
As for the team he leaves behind, it will be interesting to see if Iowa State can again with Kansas. That will be something many members and bloggers will be focusing a lot come November and December.