By David Schuster-
(CBS) Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich has been toiling at his craft for quite a while, now in his 12th year in the NBA to be exact, but he still feels young and productive. Hinrich knows his playing days are coming to an end soon, but he isn’t ready to dwell on the future just yet.
“I’m trying not to,” Hinrich said Thursday after practice. “I’m just trying to take it year by year. I don’t want to put a limit or a cap on it. I’m still enjoying it and still feeling good, so we’ll see how it goes”
As a free agent this past summer, Hinrich had options before re-signing with the Bulls. As he did before coming back to the organization ahead of the 2012-’13 season, Hinrich was recruited by other franchises and reportedly had bigger-money offers than the approximate $2.7 million he signed for using the Bulls’ room exception. In the long run, he knew that Chicago was the place he wanted to stay, as he’s played nine of his 11 professional seasons in this city.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau wanted Hinrich back because he does so many different things for his team both on and off the court. Being a coach’s son himself, Hinrich is a student of the game. Thibodeau had hopes for getting both Hinrich and breakout guard D.J. Augustin back on this year’s roster, but the salary cap situation wouldn’t allow it, and the decision was to go with the more versatile Hinrich, who will come off the bench to back up both guard spots.
There was good reason for Hinrich wanting to return, too. He looks around the Advocate Center and sees perhaps the most talented roster he’s ever been part — though he knows that’s just on paper.
“I like out talent and our mix,” Hinrich said. “We have young and veteran guys, but that’s just a starting point. We have to put it together as a group, and that’s what it’a about during training camp.”
Hinrich also recently had some nice additions to his family, with his wife giving birth to twins just three weeks ago.
“I’m really enjoying it,” he said. “I feel truly blessed to have two at the same time. Right now I’m on top of the world. I feel like I can’t lose.”
And Hinrich’s hoping that same feeling extends to the court as a talented Bulls roster readies itself for the upcoming season.
David Schuster is a reporter, update anchor and weekend host for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @Schumouse.