Jannero Pargo represents the sole free agent added to the team this year. I caught up with him at media day to ask him about this return to the Chicago Bulls.
Pargo was great fun to talk to and one of the happier guys at media day. I've always liked him due to some of those special moments where he shot the Bulls back into games that there was no possible way they should have been in, but that being said, it's hard to imagine him getting a lot of playing time this season.
What's interesting is at one point at media day, Gar Forman discussed how Pargo gave up richer and longer term deals in order to sign with the Bulls. If that's true, then Pargo must have really valued the hometown connection, because his situation doesn't seem that great as far as playing time. For fringe players like Pargo long term guarantees are at a premium especially if playing time is dicey.
I didn't ask the first two questions, which I only point out, because I felt they were off the wall in that it's weird to assume Pargo would get tons of playing time. The second question also made little sense to me given that it's clearly a joke, but with a sample size of one. It's not like Kirk Hinrich became a superstar playing next to Pargo in 03/04 or 04/05, but I liked Pargo's answers, so I left them in here.
When you were here last time, it didn't seem like you had a lot of playing time and you kind of wanted more. Now that you're going to have it, how are you going to take advantage of it?
I'm definitely going to take advantage of it. Last time I was here we had a bunch of guards. I understood my role and situation. I think I'll do the same thing. I have to understand my role which will be greatly increased from last time. I have to accept the challenge, step to the plate, and play well.
Wherever you go it seems the PG becomes an MVP caliber player like with Chris Paul, now you're working with Derrick rose, how good is he and how good can he be?
When I signed here I told Chris that I had to go make someone else an all-star PG. Derrick is a great player. Athletically he's unbelievable, his speed and jumping ability is incredible. His rookie year was amazing. I think the sky's the limit on what he can be, and he has the work ethic and mindset to become great. It's only a matter of time.
When you came in for the interview what did Gar and Vinny lay out for you as your role on this team?
We didn't really get into that. I think they just wanted to get a feel for me. It had been two or three years and a lot can change in that time. I think they just wanted to see if I wanted to be here. Just to get a look at me healthwise and things like that. The role wasn't really discussed. I have a sense of what my role will be looking at the team and the roster and looking at the loss they had with Ben Gordon. Pretty much just doing the same thing I've done my whole career, coming off the bench and trying to change the game both on the defensive end and the offensive end. Just do whatever I can to help the team.
What was it like being in Europe, where they don't always honor their contracts?
Europe is a different situation. I wouldn't say it's better or worse. It's just different. Going over there I expected some contract/money situations because it's like that every year. They do it to everybody. All in all it was still a great experience. I got to see the world, meet different people, and see different cultures, so I was really happy with my decision.
How good does it feel good to be back in the NBA though?
It feels great to be back. I wasn't fully healthy this summer, but to come back here and get a job when there aren't a lot of jobs out there. To be back in Chicago, in my home town, makes it even better.
Where you negotiating with a lot of teams or was it Chicago all the way?
Chicago, New Orleans, a couple other teams were interested, but I think I'm in the right place.