The New York media, which over times has shown us to have the patience of an eight-year old in a clothing store, is currently putting their hammer down on newly-acquired All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony. A term being used to describe Anthony is ''bad habits''. That he throughout the course of his career was used to being pampered due to his talent, and as such, got more leniency than the players around him.
After forward LeBron James signed with Miami and struggled initially, he was accused of the same thing from his time with the Cavaliers. There's probably more truth to it in LeBron's situation, as he came in from day one with the default notion of being the man from here on out. At 18, by the way.
The Bulls, and more specifically Derrick Rose, however...
Well, the Bulls did have problems with center Joakim Noah when he first arrived. But given how much he's changed since then, you have to ask yourself if the roster at that time made matters worse. After all, tensions have grown all year long due to center Ben Wallace, who seemed to have regretted his decision of leaving behind Detroit. That roster, and Wallace especially, had bad habits. It was frequently reported that the players didn't like to be around each other and it just snowballed from that, to the players being uncomfortable on the floor. After all, going to war with people you don't like is, and always will be, exceedingly difficult.
The 2010/2011 Bulls doesn't have this problem however. Despite being in similar circumstances as the Ben Wallace-led Bulls in regards to having a defensive-minded coach who yells a lot, these Bulls are somehow different. They believe. They buy in. More importantly, they don't give each other false information or pamper each other's egos. If MVP-candidate Derrick Rose makes a mistake on the floor, you can see 13th man Brian Scalabrine take him aside, put an arm around his shoulder and explain to him what went wrong. It's usually the other way around, but not on this team. If it's the work of Tom Thibodeau or the fact that the team is winning, is unknown. But either way, this attitude helps the team maintain a level of focus and professionalism not often seen in the NBA. They eat together on the road, Taj Gibson and Keith Bogans have paintgun wars at home, Omer Asik jokes about Scalabrine's clothes (rightly so) and you have Rose who on a consistent basis refers to Noah as his big brother, despite having several big brothers already.
Bad habits does not exist on these Bulls. There are no reports of players clashing due to egotistical agendas or statistical accomplishments. In fact, not a single player on the roster is talking about his statline. Rose even makes it a priority in interviews to inform the world of how little stats means to all of them. All that matters is the win. However, this is not completely true. There is one stat Rose looks at often. A stat that only a player with good habits look at as a measuring stick. Turnovers. Show Rose a game where he turns the ball over three times, and he'll shake his head in disgust of himself and promise to do better. The fact that said three turnovers might have been overshadowed by 25+ points and 8+ assists is a moot one. It doesn't matter to Rose. Those three turnovers could have been costly, especially if this was a playoff series. That's just how he thinks, how he handles himself. There's no flash off the court. Only a focus on getting better and, if he can have it his way, becoming perfect.
Rose and his drive for excellence rubs off on every member of the roster. No one wants to disappoint his strong will to succeed, so they put in that extra time. They work. For him. For Thibodeau. For the goal of raising that seventh banner to the ceiling of the United Center. If that banner comes from Luol Deng setting an extra screen in a more correct place, or from Ronnie Brewer making the proper defensive rotation at just the right time, then that's worth it, they think. So while Thibodeau sounds like a guy in constant pain from a sore throat, it's not from trying to correct bad habits or call players out. It's to get the job done, get the players involved and make them achieve the level of satisfaction that you get from putting a championship ring on that finger, knowing you gave it all you got for a cause that's greater than anything in the world of sports.