Bulls' Taj Gibson calls coach Fred Hoiberg's approach 'a new fresh air'

Taj Gibson loves it when coach Fred Hoiberg tells him and the rest of the Bulls to get lost.

When Hoiberg feels his players need a mental or physical break, he lets them get away.


Gibson was asked Monday to compare the approaches of Hoiberg and predecessor Tom Thibodeau.

"They are similar in how badly they want to win, how much they love the game," Gibson said. "You can tell when they talk to you. Like telling you old stories about how they used to coach or play back then. Every game you can tell the passion is there.


"But it is a lot different than when Thibs was here. He was here (in the practice facility) all the time. You never really saw him get away. Fred has his balance of knowing when to have guys in and when you tell guys to get away from the game."

Gibson said he appreciates Hoiberg's more laid-back approach.

"It's cool sometimes," Gibson said. "It's just different after being accustomed (to Thibodeau) for so many years. But it's like having trained guard dogs: Release them and they pop open.

"So far it's been great. It's just a new fresh air."

The NBA grind: Hoiberg said he is readjusting to the NBA game and lifestyle after coaching at Iowa State for five seasons.

"It's just getting your mindset back," Hoiberg said. "I spent 15 years in this league, and you just have to get your mindset back to those years. You don't take eight-game road trips in college like we're about to do when we leave (Tuesday) on a plane to Phoenix.

"But it has come pretty easily to get back to the grind of the season. You have to find time to balance things (and) get rest so you can hopefully stay sharp and make adjustments during the games.

"You also have to find time to spend with your family, which is tough to do in this business. You have to have a balance in life if you're going to be the best on the floor."