#12 PG-SG 6’4 190 Kirk Hinrich age 34
True Grit. Yup. It’s a safe bet to believe that to be the reason the Captain is again onboard if you got to watch GM John Paxson play during the glory days of da Bulls first title run. There are enough similarities there to envision it facilitates living vicariously through Kirk for Paxson during the time Kirk has spent with the team. The decision was actually Hinirich’s to make due to his favorable contract player option. I expect him to eventually join Paxson in the front office once he finally does retire, possibly (hopefully?) as soon as next season. Entering this season I feel less upset about having him on the roster considering the change in coaching staff, in addition to the presence of Etwan Moore plus the return of Aaron Brooks. I expect talent to win out and Kirk to be relied on far less than seasons past with the new outlook from the Fred Hoiberg coaching staff. Kirk as the 3rd guard or getting minutes only in situational game adjustments seems like a good fit if simply for his calling card “hustle” a.k.a annoyance of opponents. I never bought the idea of Kirk being a calming presence or poised player as his strong suit, especially on the offenseive end, but I do expect his locker room mentoring to help. Etwan Moore has appeared to be a very cool, level-headed player with the ball as a point guard and is very stout on defense so I expect him to be the first guard off the bench. Aaron Brooks specializes in getting his own buckets, so in situations in need of offense I expect Hoiberg to turn to Brooks first. That should leave Hinrich as the third guard off the bench in the eyes of most Bulls fans BUT we’ve seen this before, right? Coaches can’t quite quit the grit.
Sooo… I think it is safe to assume we will see more of Hinrich than expected and we can only hope he doesn’t cross himself over this season like last year. Now 34 years old, perhaps the new offense gives him a shot of youth, he clicks his heels, and he’s back in Kansas all over again. Either way, the Captain has gotten his share of love and hate for the duration of his Bulls career, but I hope we can all agree he deserves to be shown more love on his way out for all his years as a Bulls player. I still think it won’t be the last we see of Captain Kirk. I expect him to still be be on Bulls’ bench as a coach someday, with his game goggles on.
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