Iowa State men’s basketball: Fred Hoiberg to the Chicago Bulls?


With the Los Angeles Lakers looking for a new head coach, the sports world has been buzzing about who would be the next guy at the helm. Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg has been mentioned, but not in the way that you think.

Mar 15, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; The Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowslby presents Iowa State Cyclones head coach Fred Hoiberg and players the championship trophy after the game against the Baylor Bears in the championship game of the Big 12 Conference college basketball tournament at Sprint Center. The Cyclones won 74 – 65. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today, ESPN basketball super nerd Bill Simmons tweeted a prediction that Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau would be traded to the Lakers (like Doc Rivers being traded to the LA Clippers) and that the Bulls would hire Hoiberg.

Let’s break all of this down first. Lakers figurehead Kobe Bryant expressed interest in wanting Thibodeau, so the team is seeking permission to talk to him.

So now, the Bulls would have an opening. Now why is Hoiberg’s name being brought up for the open job?

Hoiberg played under Gar Forman, who was an assistant coach under Tim Floyd at Iowa State. Forman is currently the general manager of the Chicago Bulls. He even commented on Hoiberg’s hire at Iowa State in an article by ESPN’s Andy Katz in 2010:

"“The biggest challenge to the job is that there aren’t a lot of players in the state,” said Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman, a former Iowa State assistant coach under Floyd when Hoiberg played for the Cyclones. “The biggest challenge for him is to go make recruiting contacts. He doesn’t have a lot of experience in that but he has such a personality and presence that he’ll do that easily. He’ll have real success in selling players and parents as to why it’s a great opportunity there.”"

Similar to the Minnesota Timberwolves, if Thibodeau heads out, then there will be no doubt that Forman will at least talk to Hoiberg about the open position.

But Cyclone fans shouldn’t come anywhere near being worried. Again, with Simmons, this is national sports writer that’s just looking at connections and not what Hoiberg has invested here in Ames. Plus, all of these transactions have to happen, and we have no idea if or when any of them will occur.

I’m still firmly in the belief that I have a better chance of walking down to the Kum and Go station at the end of the block tonight, putting $2 down on a easy-pick lotto ticket, and winning $250 million on Saturday than Hoiberg bolting to the NBA. But places like Minnesota and Chicago are places that Hoiberg would at least consider himself.

Still, Hoiberg has said he’d love to be Cyclone for life, and it’s simply hard to believe that he would bolt to the NBA at this time.