Former Chicago Bulls Guard Addresses Potential Coaching Career

Kirk Hinrich

Getty Kirk Hinrich drives into the lane.

The last time Kirk Hinrich suited up for the Chicago Bulls, it was — coincidentally — against the team to which he would be traded to six days later, the Atlanta Hawks.

The Bulls faced the Hawks on Feb. 10, 2016, losing 113-97, before heading into the All-Star break. After the hiatus, Chicago shipped the long-time Bull to Atlanta in exchange for Justin Holiday ahead of the trade deadline.

The move marked the second time the Bulls traded Hinrich with the first time coming in the 2010 offseason. The guard was traded to the Washington Wizards in an attempt to gain more cap space to sign LeBron James and other free agents.

Hinrich hasn’t donned a Bulls uniform since that February, and the 2015-16 was his last as a professional basketball player. Despite the multiple trades, the former combo guard remains active with the Bulls as one of their team ambassadors.

On Thursday afternoon, the fan-favorite participated in an “Ask me anything” (AMA) session on the official Bulls Discord.

“Being a Bull was some of the most memorable moments of my life,” Hinrich said at the end of the Q&A session. “I’m excited about this team and go Bulls!”

The 13-year NBA veteran, who spent 10 and a half seasons with Chicago, reflected on his time as a Bull, mentioned getting to play alongside “two really good friends” in Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah and noted the hunting and fishing he has been doing in retirement.

But one of the main things fans wanted to know? Whether Hinrich has been considering becoming a coach.

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From Captain Kirk to Coach Hinrich?

Some fans wanted to know about coaching in general. Others specifically asked Hinrich if coaching the Bulls or elsewhere in the NBA was in his future. After all, coaching is in Hinrich’s blood. His father, Jim, was his coach at West High School in Sioux City, per the Chicago Tribune.

However, the former Bulls guard said that, while he has considered the role, he doesn’t “think it’s really for (him).”

“Just really happy where I’m at right now being a dad and enjoying my family,” Hinrich said in the Bulls Discord.

Despite that, the Bulls’ all-time leader in 3-point field goals has some experience as a coach — just not at a high level.

A 2018 article from Argus Leader mentioned that Hinrich previously coached his oldest daughter’s basketball team, which she apparently wasn’t fond of.

“(T)he second she heard I was coaching she didn’t want to play for me anymore!” Hinrich explained when asked what it was like to share the sport with his child.

Beyond that, he has also coached other youth basketball players at Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In October 2017, Hinrich began working for Sanford Sports as the lead academy specialist for the Sanford POWER Basketball Academy, per a news article from Sanford Pentagon.

Beat the Heat, End the Streak

When Hinrich was playing his second stint in Chicago, the Bulls ended the Miami Heat’s historic 27-game winning streak in 2013.

During that game, Hinrich made one of the most iconic plays of his career: tackling LeBron James on a fast break to stop him. His late-game play of stripping the ball from Chris Bosh was also a key moment in the streak-ending win.

While the victory was an exciting one for fans, the former Bull downplayed the game when asked about it.

“I remember it being a great feeling in the locker room,” Hinrich said. “But honestly it was a regular season game and the mentality was to just move on and play more consistently like we did that night.”

During the Q&A session, Hinrich also admitted that the Heat — in addition to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Detroit Pistons — was among his favorite teams to compete against during his time as a Bull.

Grit and Goggles

Throughout the course of Hinrich’s NBA career, he was always known for being a hard-nosed, defensive-minded player who was known for his hustle. When he returned to the Bulls for a second stint, starting in 2012, there was one key difference to him: Hinrich was now sporting athletic goggles when he played.

But during the AMA, he revealed his temptation to no longer use them when asked how tough it was to sport the eyewear: “YES. Very difficult. Almost went away from wearing them many times. They’re just so hard to keep clean and get used to.”

Hinrich first started wearing the athletic glasses at the start of 2011 when he was a member of the Wizards. He wore them to limit the potential for losing sight in his left eye.

According to The Washington Post, the now 13-year NBA veteran had an eye exam with the Wizards’ team optometrist as part of his driver’s license renewal process. He was then told a hit to the left eye could prove costly if he didn’t wear protective eyewear while playing basketball. So the guard started to wear goggles and continued to for the remainder of his career.

One fan asked in the Q&A how sad “Captain Kirk” was about the lack of NBA players who wear athletic glasses. Hinrich answered, “I was more sad to wear them than to not see other(s) wearing them.”

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