20-second timeout: What you need to know about the Bulls athletic training staff shake-up

Chip Schaefer, the former Bulls head athletic trainer during the 1990s, will return to the Bulls next season according to a report by the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson.

Schaefer is finalizing a deal to join the strength and training staff, although his exact role is still unknown. He has a long and accomplished career in the NBA. He was the head athletic trainer in Chicago from 1990-98. He then followed Phil Jackson to the Lakers, where spent 12 years as their director of athletic performance. Most recently, he spent three years with the Kings, in the same role.

Jen Swanson was let go by the Bulls a few weeks ago. She was hired as the director of sports performance three years ago. She clashed with Tom Thibodeau, and didn’t help curb the injury problems in Chicago.

The Bulls also fired strength coach Nick Papendieck. His possible replacement, Travelle Gaines, has worked with hundreds of professional athletes and has strong ties to a few current Bulls, including Jimmy Butler.

Head athletic trainer Jeff Tanaka will be back next season. How could you not love this guy? The players certainly do.

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