Chicago Bulls head athletic trainer Fred Tedeschi has won the 2012-13 Joe O’Toole NBA Athletic Trainer of the Year Award. The honor was revealed by the team’s website on Friday.
Fred Tedeschi is the trainer for a team that cleared former Bulls center Omer Asik to play in the 2011 NBA playoffs with a broken leg.
Tedeschi is on the staff of a team that presided over the mishandling of Luol Deng’s infamous absence in the 2013 playoffs, when the Bulls announced Deng’s severe reaction to a spinal tap procedure (one that Deng himself had to personally disclose on Twitter, after the Bulls denied a procedure took place) as “flu-like symptoms.”
Deng also played through the last two months of the season with a fractured thumb, when he was cleared as game-workable, alongside torn ligaments in the same hand.
Fred was also on the staff when center Joakim Noah – who has a history of falling prey to plantar fasciitis due to overuse – averaged 40 minutes a game for the first three months of the season. The Bulls staff also has an Internet connection, which would reveal that Noah runs more during those particular minutes than any other player in the NBA.
Noah was also cleared to play during the 2012 playoffs in a game that saw him severely sprain his ankle, an injury that would knock Noah out of the Olympics some three months later.
Tedeschi last won the award in 2007, two years before the Bulls sent out a letter regarding Luol Deng, telling the media that Deng should be undertaking something called “active rest” to work himself toward "expeditious return to play." The Bulls training staff then "encouraged [Deng] to challenge himself physically."
Luol Deng got a second opinion from another doctor, who revealed that Deng had a broken right leg. Something not enough “active rest” in the world can heal.
Congratulations to Tedeschi and the rest of the Chicago Bulls.