Rivers also talked about meeting President Barack Obama, who thanked
him for Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. Rivers said that he advised Thibodeau
to take the Chicago job. "People don't know this, but Tom had a choice
of two jobs. That was New Orleans or Chicago," Rivers said. "New Orleans
at the time was offering him more money. He was going to take that job
because of the money and I kept saying, 'The Bulls have players, that's
where you go. The money follows after the players.' Obviously I'm really
happy that he took the right job."
Really? Wow, the Bulls dodged a bullet there. Not that it's surprising that the Bulls wanted to go cheap on the coach as Reinsdorf has long hated paying coaches.
It's stories like this that make you wonder if they'll really pony up the money to win four titles even if they have that chance. Hopefully the Bulls have proven enough to do so.
Of course, on the other side, you could simply argue it's good negotiating tactics to know you're offering the better job, and to set your price accordingly. The Bulls may or may not have known about New Orleans offer as well depending on whether Thibs brought it up.
There's also somewhat of an implication that perhaps the Bulls increased their offer (perhaps due to NOs offer) because Rivers says 'at the time'. Anyway, I'll always have fears that the Bulls won't spend until I see the luxury tax payments come out.