LINCOLN — The NBA's Chicago Bulls revealed plans early Wednesday for building a new practice facility.
Which leads you to ask why such dealings matter to anyone in Nebraska.
Maybe because about 12 hours before that announcement, the Bulls' executive team — led by President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Reinsdorf — was in Lincoln touring NU's Hendricks Training Complex for basketball, looking for ideas to incorporate.
“That's one of the highest compliments we've had,'' Marc Boehm, Nebraska's executive associate athletic director, said of the caliber of guests touring the $18.7-million basketball palace, which opened last October.
So what did representatives from a 46-year-old NBA championship franchise think of the digs occupied by a college program that has gone 62 years without a conference title?
“They were simply, absolutely blown away,'' Boehm said Wednesday afternoon. “They said they hadn't seen anything like this so far.''
Besides Reinsdorf, the Bulls' contingent consisted of Gar Forman, general manager; John Paxson, executive vice president-basketball operations who formerly played in the NBA; and a project manager.
Nebraska coach Tim Miles and his staff led tours. The Bulls executives arrived late afternoon by private jet and spent about two hours at the Hendricks Complex, including dinner on site.
“It appeared to me that they were very impressed,'' Miles said. “They took plenty of notes. I think they got their eyes opened. I'm not sure they expected the depth of what we have here.''
Miles said the Bulls group also has facility site-check visits planned to Louisville and West Virginia.
“It's very cool that they came to see us,'' Miles said, “and that we were first on their list.''
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