The Bulls headed down to Rio ahead of their preseason game this Saturday. Ostensibly, Tom Thibodeau is all about business. In fact every quote you read from him is how the players need to treat it as a business trip.
That didn't stop Joakim Noah from wearing a swim suit on the plan and making a b-line for the beach as soon as it landed. Nor did it stop Carlos Boozer from flying in his parents to spend some time down in Brazil with him. Kirk Hinrich asked for suggestions on how to spend his free time when reporters asked what he'd do.
I'm sure Thibodeau wants to make sure the Bulls aren't in constant party mode. I'm sure he wants them to take practice seriously each day they're down there. However, for all his talk about business, practice only lasts a couple hours a day, and the Bulls will be loaded with free time.
Derrick Rose, who's traveled all summer on Adidas tours, could probably pretend he's just at any other road game, but the rest of the guys are going to go out. As they should.
Thibodeau referenced it as a business trip and a chance to bond, and it's both. However, expect the bonding to occur on this trip while experiencing some night life. I think what you hope in this scenario is not that everyone stays in and pretends they're in a Cleveland hotel, but that they all go out together.
Experience a foreign country, see what it has to offer, but make it a shared experience. That has more value in terms of bonding than sharing the experience of the inside of a hotel room. That helps bring the guys closer together.
It's especially important for Mike Dunleavy Jr, as he's the only important cog in the machine this season that hasn't already had a lot of experience with the group. Every other projected rotation player has at least one season playing together. Chemistry is one of the reasons this team will be an elite team this season.
So, yes, it's a business trip. Yes, the players can't afford to show up hung over for Saturday's preseason game or the practices ahead of it. However, other than that? The Bulls marching orders should be to let go and have fun, and hope they do it together.