Bulls didn't want to pay Thibodeau?

Per WEEI (Boston radio station):

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.

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  • They'll spend the money. They do not want DRose to have a televised "Decision" on WGN if he realizes he is not getting help.
    Things we do not know from this article:
    Did the Bulls know they were outbid?
    Do coaches take salary offers from one team to show the other interested team to create a bidding war? Does not sound like Thibs.
    Did the NO bid hight out of the gate because they knew that was the only way to make themselves look better than the Bulls?

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    I agree, especially with that last point. Typically less attractive, smaller market teams have to overbid to get the personnel they want. It's an unfortunate reality in sports today. It's hard to say if the Bulls were being cheap or that New Orleans knew they had to beat Chicago money-wise to even have a chance. It seems to me N.O. would be wasting their time if they matched the Bulls offer because then the choice becomes a no-brainer -- they had to outbid the Bulls just to stay in the race.

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    Why would the Bulls break the bank for Thibodeau? He'd never been a coach before. Hindsight is 20/20...and why are people asking whether this guy will keep a winner in place...when he paid out what is still the highest salary for one year of any athlete in history? And that was about 15 years ago!

  • In reply to Houston:

    The Bulls have consistently cut salary to avoid the luxury tax at the expense of wins for the past decade. They've missed out on premier coaches due to money, and they apparently, could have missed on this coach due to money too.

    I think there's plenty of reason to be skeptical.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If not paying for Mike D'Antoni is a mistake then please Bulls, make more mistakes.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I'll say it before and I will say it again, D'Antoni will not win a championship in New York. They will realize this and fire his ass. I am happy the Bulls lost the D'Antoni signing. Again, I agree with you Shakes. This wasn't a hindsight thing for me either. After watching the Suns run all over people, and then failing in the playoffs, I was not inspired with his system, nor did the Bulls have the players at the time to run the system. It was just a bad fit, glad we missed on that one.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Yeah except that when they were looking for a coach at the time he was considered a thousand times better than the idiot we eventually hired.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Winning a Championship, under the Luxury Tax

    I hope I'm wrong, and have said this a number of times on this blog.

    Jerry Reinsdorf spend a lot more incremental money on the White Sox than the Bulls.

    Two reasons in my mind:

    1) Jerry has 6 NBA titles but only 1 MLB ring.
    2) As an ex-IRS agent and accountant, he hates the NBA luxury tax.
    3) The United Center is full no matter how good the team. Cellular Field is rarely full, creating a better team may fill up the seats at the Cell.

    I hope I'm wrong. But for Jerry Reinsdorf, building a championship NBA team under the luxury tax is an art form. I think he enjoys the challenge (seriously).

    So while I hope that during summer the Bulls will use their 4 1st round draft picks (in the next 2 years) and expiring contracts to strengthen the team with a shooting guard upgrade, I just don't know.

    Only Jerry Reinsdorf knows for sure.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Was Mike D'Antoni a bigger mistake than Vinny Del Negro?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The biggest benefit of Vinny is he was a nobody the team could cast off once a better option came along and there wouldn't be any complaints. Yeah his game management sucked but he played the only guys we cared about getting playing time in Rose & Noah plenty no matter what (too much if you ask Pax!) and the Bulls seemed to have no real complainers while he was there, which was probably a concern after Skiles.

    As a filler coach until the team could add the pieces in 2010 then get a real coach he was actually a pretty good hire. Probably not the plan at the time but I think it worked out well.

  • In reply to Houston:

    Thibs was coming from a championship team while the Bulls was a 500. team and a first round eliminated team in the playoffs, you don't think he was worth the money? Reinsdork got lucky that Thibs listened to Doc Rivers and accepted the Bulls job cause just think... the Bulls could've hired Don Casey as their coach cause that was one of the Bulls candidates for the job, what a joke that would've been...

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Thibs was coming from a championship team, but it wasn't like we were getting Doc Rivers..I don't know what the luxury tax has to do with compensating coaches. Reinsdorf has shown in the past that he was more than willing to compensate coaches that he deemed worthy of the money, like Phil Jackson, Scott Skiles, etc. They walked away from negotiations satisfied. And I don't know what premiere coaches the Bulls missed out on due to money. I thought it was due to process, and Reinsdorf dragging his feet, maybe I'm wrong. I don't think there is any reason at all to be skeptical.

  • In reply to Houston:

    No the Bulls weren't getting Rivers but if you ever listen to him, he gives high praise to Thibs for his input to the defense of the Celtics not to mention some of the offense as well, and every player that has played for Thibs as an assistant loves the guy as a coach and a good person. Bottom line... Reinsdork was going to lose out on him had it not been for Doc Rivers. So say what you want about Reinsdork cause IMO he just cheap, but it looks as tho he has to spend some money now, he should have it cause he hasn't spent any money on the Bulls the last 12 years.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    He only spends money when the team shows it can play, he is the chairman of the board, remember, not the outright owner. He has investors to answer to, not like a Mark Cuban type. I don't know, 7 championships among his 2 teams in the last 20 years really speaks for itself, not matter how much of that you want to attribute to 'luck' in getting Michael Jordan. Give me Reinsdorf over the Ricketts and Sterlings of the world.

  • In reply to Houston:

    Doc Rivers wasn't considered that great until he got three HOFs.

  • In reply to davebursill:

    Let's also not pretend that the only reason Thibs is here is due to Doc telling him to take this job...cmon, you cant read one line in one article and assume Doc made the final decision. Take your media with a grain of salt people...

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Sorry, but this is a non-issue.

    1. They are running a business ... and making business decisions. This doesn't surprise or concern me in the slightest.
    2. As highly regarded as Thibs was, he hadn't ever done the job before. There are a million ways to screw up being a head coach in the NBA. He's avoided about 999,000 of them. We're fortunate to have him.

    He finishes off this season on a high note ... and he probably deserves a raise.

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    In hindsight, it looks bad. But, who knew Thibs will be this good. Even, Vinny looked good in the interviews apparently. Maybe, he would have raised the salary if Thibs had negotiated for more. Even Jerry Buss was whining about paying Phil Jackson all that money. So, it's not something about Reinsdorf or White Sox.
    That said, what happens if the Bulls lose in the second round this year? And the CBA shuts the MLE to a very small number. We have to deplete the bench to get a new SG in a trade?
    I don't understand the point of blaming Reinsdorf on money spent for players. Do you want them to be reckless? If they were over the cap and not spending on a player like Matt Barnes, you can blame him. There has not been a situation like that.

    The bottom-line is to win in the NBA, you need an alpha-star like Rose, Kobe, LeBron, Nowitzki. If you don't have them, it's just pointless in spending money on players.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Vinny had no experience and was not highly regarded by anyone.

    Tom Thibodeau was designing the Celtics adjustments and strategies on a team that won the title and was highly regarded by the entire league.

    I don't think that's remotely comparable.

    As far as money, do I want them to be reckless? Hell yes. I want them to spend like the Knicks. You know why? Because it doesn't hurt your team to have higher salary. It just hurts the profits, and I'd rather have Mark Cuban going nuts spending than Jerry Reinsdorf saving.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I am just saying both Vinny and Thibs were both interviewing for their first jobs as a head coach. Getting Thibs was not even like hiring Skiles who had a decent record as a head coach. Being highly regarded as an defensive architect doesn't mean anything about being an head coach. Thibs could have been a big time flop.
    Spending recklessly works maybe in baseball where they don't have a salary cap. If Melo was not from Brooklyn, Knicks would still be a 7th or 8th seed. Atleast, the Bulls made the playoffs in 2005-06...
    I agree that it is better for me as a fan if Reinsdorf spends money. But, they need to spend money wisely. They had spent money on Deng, Hinrich and they couldn't turn them into assets which could propel them to a championship. So, what I mean is if they spend money...spend it on someone who can contribute for a championship or can be traded for an asset who will contribute for a championship. Otherwise, it is just money changing hands without any purpose.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    It's not the same at all. Vinnie had never been an assistant coach or maybe he was the 5th coach for one year.

    Thibs had decades of experiance and ran the D for numerous teams.

  • In reply to scottplummer:

    The best part of the offseason to me is when the Clippers announced they had hired Del Negro. Among their praise, they said that Del Negro came across as "Presidential" in interviews. As long as he takes his executive act on the road, I am happy it is no longer going on in Chicago.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    He's been saving for the past 13 years, that should be enough you would think.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Amen, Doug.

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    A lot of fans as always want to give Reinsdork the benefit of doubt, he got lucky again and Thibs took the Bulls coaching position. New Orleans would've given him all the money he wanted to become their head coach while the Bulls as always since the year 1999 when they dismantled a team that won 6 championships in 8 years wanted to go the cheap route. This why I have no faith in Reinsdork to continue to build this Bulls team to a multiple time champion. If this guy is capable of destroying a dynasty, that's an owner that is not to be trusted. Jordan himself put some pressure on the Bulls owner with his speech at the 20th reunion celebration that the Bulls my win 6 more titles, let's see if Reinsdork can stand up to the challenge of not just his own prediction but the prediction of maybe another 6 title by the greatest player to ever play the game... Way to put the spotlite on his ass Mike to make him continue to build the Bulls into a multiple time champion!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention great win by the Bulls. They took it straight to the Jazz from the jump with a 3 point barrage lead by Rose in the first half to build a big enough lead to cruise in the second half cause they did almost let the Jazz back into the game. I just hate hearing stories about the Bulls owner cheap ways yet again. He will always break the bank for the WhiteSox tho... what an ass he really is! I see again why Phil, Mike, and Scottie didn't get along with Reinsdork and absolutely hated crumbs Krause.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Give me one example of him breaking the bank for the White Sox before this year. Even after '05, he didn't break the bank to try and repeat. Some of your Reinsdorf points actually make sense, this isn't one of them. White Sox have been consistently been in the lower 1/3 of the major leagues since the early '90s.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Go read my article on profit ratio.

    The Sox generate more total revenue than the Bulls and run on a 10 million profit per year basis, almost all revenue is put back into the team.

    The Bulls generate 50 million in profit per year, almost none is put back in the team.

    In a profit per revenue ratio, the Bulls annihilate any other team in pro sports, they might be double the next closest team.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The problem with the comparison is the structure of the NBA salary system means that not spending until you have a great team is generally good management. I'd be more worried if JR had been spending, I think the Bulls would have looked like the Knicks did for most of the decade (who have only become respectable again because the quest for 2010 cap space forced them to stop spending for several years).

    I think the only real test is the next few years, if JR wont spend to obtain/retain talent when the team is a legit contender then he deserves all the criticism he's (IMO unfairly) copped in the past.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    ING! The bulls negotiated with Thibs? How dare they! It's almost like the bulls had leverage because Chicago was the much, much better opportunity given the players, the management, the ownership, and the market. What were they thinking offering Thibs a few hundred thousand less?....

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    It doesn't suprise at all. bulls = cheap owner and organization overating players !!
    if they aren't carefull, they will loose Rose.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    No matter how cheap you think the ownership is they'll pay for Rose because he brings in more money than a max contract costs.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Dee, I hope you are saying that just for arguments sake. Rose isn't going anywhere. This is always where he wanted to be, and the Bulls would basically explode their core to resign him to the max. There is a better chance that Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Deron Williams all sign with the Toronto Raptors for 9 mil a year apiece.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Reinsdorf is first and foremost a successful businessman. I'd assume the ownership group he chairs is made up of successful businessmen, too. Successful businessmen are successful because they usually spend responsibly - and are often cheap as hell. The Sox get more love because Reinsdorf is more of a baseball fan than a basketball fan - a fact he's made painfully clear over the years.

    The running of a sports franchise like a viable business entity isn't always in the fan's best interest, but it's cool when ownership can run it like a viable business AND win a lot of games. I don't know if that comes into consideration for those voting for Executive of the Year, but if it does, that should be another point the Bulls' favor.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I thought I'd contribute a valid point that everyone is glossing over. We signed Thibideau for under market value. That is a incredibly successful and shrewd business move. Instead of criticizing Reinsdorf or Pax, I effectively laud the ownership group for the great job they did in the offseason. Why overpay just for the sake of overpaying?

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    having said that, I hope they take care of the man when its time for an extension

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    What's most concerning about this story for me is that Tom didn't choose us on his own. I had held the belief that Tom turned down New Orleans, not even for our job, but the chance to interview for our job, and that he did it because he was so enamored with everything our team & city had to offer. I didn't know he needed to be convinced,

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    concerned is a strong word, I guess I'm just a little dissapointed

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Wasn't Thibodeau's signing done before the season, when he hasn't done anything yet? What if he turned out to be Iavaroni or Kuester, both well-regarded assistant coaches. I have no problem with the Bulls getting Thibs on the cheap at the start of the season. But now that Thibodeau has shown he can win and has instilled a winning culture, I think a hefty bonus should be in the discussion, or even a new contract.

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    I agree on this. It's two entirely different scenarios depending on whether Chicago were aware of what NO were offering. If the Bulls knew and refused to match the NO offer then that's concerning. If it's juts a matter of their initial offer being lower because they didn't happen to know what NO was offering then who cares.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I get the feeling though that if the Bulls matched the offer, NO would raise theirs again. They really had to outbid the Bulls for them to have any chance. All things equal, the Bulls job was the best opportunity out there.

  • Oh and thanks Doc, you're the man. Out of appreciation we will let you win one game against the Bulls in the playoff series so you can save face.

  • I'm shocked that you are shocked that Bulls tried to be cheap in hiring a coach.

  • In reply to scottplummer:

    I'm not sure how you read what I wrote as 'shocked' that it happened. More disgusted than shocked.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Wow - an exclamation of surprise, wonder, pleasure,

  • In reply to scottplummer:

    "Not that it's surprising that the Bulls wanted to go cheap on the coach."

  • Rivers gets yet another assist...he may live to regret that one though.

  • Exactly, the offense isn't the best which is why the Bulls owner has to continue to bring in the right player to compliment this team. I don't like Bogans starting either but Thibs starting him is screaming to the Bulls management... GO AND GET ME A LEGIT SHOOTING GUARD!!! Everyone can see that is all the Bulls need to complete this team.

  • Good post...In hindsight, Thibs looks great but how many assistant coaches from championship teams who were supposedly architects have really panned out.. Should we have offered Thibs 8 mil/year starting salary. I don't get it. It is not like they were losing on Thibs. They must have an idea on what he wanted and he wanted to come here.

    But that said, we can always nitpick on any coach. Look at Kobe in the last few games with Phil. Kobe was shooting crazy shots at the end and Phil didn't criticize him. Yesterday, Kobe had a baseball-size swelling in his ankle and Phil let him play. We need to just wait and see how Thibs will react to new situations before we make a judgement.

  • Yeah you're right, he totally sucks. Let's fire him now before the playoffs and reactivate Larry Brown.

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