Old Friend Thaddeus Young Had Me So Hyped With This Speech

Before DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso stole the heart of Bulls fans, Thaddeus Young was the fan favorite.

The 34-year-old forward has built a reputation around being the ultimate professional. His strong locker room presence was frequently praised by teammates during his time in Chicago, and it’s easy to see why in a recent video that surfaced online.

During one of his basketball camps in Tennessee, a sweaty Young gave a heartfelt speech to some NBA hopefuls. The 16-year veteran harped on putting in the extra work, reminding those in attendance that you don’t have to be a star to make a name for yourself at the next level.

“I’ve been doing the same sh*t since forever, and it ain’t stop. I got my first contract, the work just started. When I got to the league, the work had just started … I’m on my fifth contract. My fifth one. That should tell you all something. You don’t have to be a 20-point per game scorer to have a 16-year-long career.”

Here’s the full video:

I know … goosebumps.

The Bulls may not have achieved much with the big man in town, but he did play some of the most well-rounded basketball of his long career over his two seasons with the franchise. In particular, Year 2 proved to be one of the more memorable seasons from a Bulls role player in quite some time. Young averaged 12.1 points to go along with a career-high 4.3 assists. He was one of the team’s most consistent two-way players, and his interior passing skills led to color commentator Stacey King coining him the great “Thadgic Johnson.”

Unfortunately, in an effort to revamp the roster, the Bulls’ new front office ended up sending the savvy veteran to the San Antonio Spurs as part of the DeMar DeRozan sign-and-trade last summer. While the move already paid off for Chicago, it’s hard not to think Young could have been an ideal fit on this Bulls team that still lacks frontcourt depth and defense.

Indeed, I wondered whether or not Young’s familiarity with the franchise and close relationship with Zach LaVine could lead to the unrestricted free agent making a mighty return to Chicago this offseason. But Young swiftly chose to re-sign with the Eastern Conference team that traded for him last season, the Toronto Raptors.

While Young may be playing for a conference rival now, it’s going to be hard not to cheer for his continued success. He truly is the ideal NBA role model, and maybe one day he’ll take everything he’s learned to the coaching stage!

Speaking of which, do the Bulls have a successor planned for Billy Donovan?

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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