Fred Hoiberg has his reasons — and NBA permission — to sit in on an MSU practice
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Coach Fred Hoiberg and the league office have had plenty of contact recently.
Besides getting warned by the league to adhere to the new rest rules instituted before the season, Hoiberg had to get permission from the NBA to watch his son practice Wednesday.
Jack Hoiberg — a walk-on, redshirt freshman for Michigan State — and his Spartans teammates practiced at the Advocate Center after the Bulls’ morning shootaround, then attended the game against the Grizzlies.
MSU had some downtime, so why not spend it in Chicago?
“With the [Big Ten] tournament a week earlier this year, they’ve got this week off, and it’s spring break for them, so you can do activities with teams now and the NCAA,’’ Hoiberg said.
“Basically, how it works is you ask permission to practice in a team’s facility, then you have to get approval from the league. It was approved, and [the Spartans] were able to practice in the facility.’’
Hoiberg also had to be approved by the league, especially considering the Bulls could be in the market for two Michigan State players in the June draft.
Jaren Jackson Jr. and Miles Bridges are expected to be lottery picks.
“The best thing about [Wednesday] is I was able to spend some time with my son,’’ Hoiberg said. “These days, especially when your kids are off at college, you just don’t get the opportunity to do that very often. So to be able to spend some time with Jack was great. . . . I was approved because Jack is my son.
‘‘Nobody else was able to be in there. It was a closed practice. And, to be honest, I wasn’t in there much. I just saw a little at the beginning, then went into my office and finished my prep for [the Grizzlies] game.’’
Turning up the volume
Kris Dunn admitted Tuesday that he needed to assume the role of team leader, especially because he’s the starting point guard, and revealed why he has been reluctant at specific times this season.
“It’s tough, especially where I was and then coming off the injury and trying to find my way,’’ Dunn said, referring to the concussion that sidelined him for more than three weeks. “I’m big on having the actions play first. I’m big on showing your game and then trying to be a vocal leader, but they want me to try to be both.
“It’s tough, especially in my first year as a Bull. I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes.
‘‘But I think I’ve got to, in these next 18 games, try to figure it out for the group and try to be that leader that they want me to be.’’
Follow me on Twitter @suntimes_hoops.