The end of an era - Tom Thibodeau fired from the Bulls

The end of an era - Tom Thibodeau fired from the Bulls

For all intents and purposes, Tom Thibodeau has a reason to smile again. As does the Bulls. Neither were happy with one another, and today came the day in which they parted ways for good.

The Bulls issued a press release that reads a bit of sour grapes. Okay, like a ton of sour grapes:

Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman announced today that Tom Thibodeau will not be retained as the team’s head coach.

Chicago Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said, “The Chicago Bulls have a history of achieving great success on and off the court. These accomplishments have been possible because of an organizational culture where input from all parts of the organization has been welcomed and valued, there has been a willingness to participate in a free flow of information, and there have been clear and consistent goals. While the head of each department of the organization must be free to make final decisions regarding his department, there must be free and open interdepartmental discussion and consideration of everyone's ideas and opinions. These internal discussions must not be considered an invasion of turf, and must remain private. Teams that consistently perform at the highest levels are able to come together and be unified across the organization-staff, players, coaches, management and ownership. When everyone is on the same page, trust develops and teams can grow and succeed together. Unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture. To ensure that the Chicago Bulls can continue to grow and succeed, we have decided that a change in the head coaching position is required. Days like today are difficult, but necessary for us to achieve our goals and fulfill our commitments to our fans. I appreciate the contributions that Tom Thibodeau made to the Bulls organization. I have always respected his love of the game and wish him well in the future.”

Following 21 years in the NBA as an assistant coach (he was an advance scout in 1991-92), Chicago named Thibodeau the team’s head coach on June 23, 2010. During his five seasons at the helm of the Bulls, Thibodeau’s teams compiled an overall record of 255-139 (.647). The Bulls advanced to the playoffs five times during Thibodeau’s tenure, where he posted a postseason record of 23-28 (.451).

"When Tom was hired in 2010, he was right for our team and system at that time, and over the last five years we have had some success with Tom as our head coach,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. “But as we looked ahead and evaluated how we as a team and an organization could continue to grow and improve, we believed a change in approach was needed."

Lots of animosity going on here with "Some success" being my favorite. But alas, the divorce was expected and now it's time to look ahead to Fred Hoiberg, who is the leading candidate to take over the team.

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  • Necessary - for all the reasons most fans know too well.

    Now the FO needs to get to work on a couple of acquisitions to put the team over the top.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Amen brother! And by acquisitions you mean Trades. And maybe a lucky draft pick.

  • Interesting comments by Reinsdorf on Organizations staying on the same page and not undermining each other. I wonder if he's holding his Front Office Accountable to the same standard? Perhaps this put them on notice too after pushing out the last to Head Coach's. Also consider what I wrote yesterday about the Front Office's huge blunder. Here is the post: Front office should have been planning a trade of Thibodeau right after they let Ron Adams walk. Messing with a a very stubborn and proud couch and his chief assistant should have been the huge clue to management that the relationship with them and their HC is not tenable for long. Paxson could have got his First Round pick at that time when Thibodeau's stock was sky hi and instead of waiting and leaking stories and devaluing his Head Coach to the point that a prospect of a trade laughable . What a huge blunnder!! Something that Danny Ainge did not do with Doc Rivers.

  • In reply to Cali786:

    I'm surprised that the Chairman would have such a large quotation in the press release sending Thibs out the door. Usually, you would see something like what McCaskey said yesterday, to the effect that I didn't have to tell the GM what to do.

    I also don't think that Jerry was that concerned with the Cubs Den type of calculus about getting a draft pick in trade for a $9 million contract.For instance, he didn't tell Loria that he needed draft picks before releasing Ozzie. Either the team wins or it doesn't under its coaching staff.

    What may be a reasonable question is whether Jerry's famous loyalty will prevent any action against Pax, but clearly he had no problem punting Thibs out the door, and saying so.

  • In reply to jack:

    I think this is also a message to Pax. Duking it out with Vinny Del Negro in a hallway and then tit for tat over the course of two years with Thibodeau doesn't live up with Reinsdorfs stated goals of harmony between departments. Its a pretty huge black eye and if it happens again with a new couch and with Jeff Van Gundy and his huge mouth flapping I doubt Pax and Gar have much room to screw up. They are both on notice IMO.

  • In reply to Cali786:

    I don't think that Thibs would have ever brought a first-rounder, but who knows? As you say, the FO clearly devalued whatever value he did have in trade.

  • In reply to bjb57:

    Its an interesting thought right? Here is the list of openings coaching openings in 2014, the perfect time for Paxson to offer up Thibs. I believe any of these teams could have given up a #1 in a reported deep draft.

    Golden State- Reported to be very much interested in Thibs.
    New York Knicks - Phil Jackson was rumored to favor Thibs.
    LA Lakers - Kobe Bryant a big fan of Thibs.
    Cleveland Cavaliers - Lebron James a huge fan of Thibs. Could have used him as another incentive for James jumping to the Cavs.
    Brooklyn Nets - Lost to Thibs in last years playoffs. I'm sure the would have bid for his services.
    Minnesota - Another team without a couch that i'm sure would have given up a pick for Thibs considering their futility the last two decades.
    Utah Jazz - I'm sure they could see visions of Jerry Sloan in Thibs as everyone else sees.

    Detroit could have also been a possibility. The only team with zero interest is probably the Bucks with their chasing of Jason Kid.

    So out of 9 openings. Seven would have definitely chased Thibs driving up the probability of a trade for a number one pick in a reported very deep draft. What a loss of a great assist!

  • In reply to Cali786:

    I hear you, but I don't agree with you. I think everyone was thrown off by the Clippers giving a first-rounder for Rivers and then thinking that was the going rate for a good head coach. I think it was more an aberration than a new benchmark. I also find it interesting that one could make a strong argument that Rivers hasn't made much of a difference whatsoever for the Clippers. They still underperform, even though they are no longer godawful. That modest improvement probably would have happened whether he was there or not.

  • In reply to bjb57:

    totally agree, aberration rather than benchmark, that situation was unique in the way that it came about.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I disagree on that premise. The Doc Rivers trade set a standard for an in demand head coach and make no mistake, Thibs was a very hot property before his FO started shitting on him. Also consider that the Rivers trade impact with the Bulls this very week as the FO tried trading him out.

  • In reply to Cali786:


    A friend of mine is the Manager at the Laugh Factory in Chicago, since he is also a huge Bulls fan let me give him a call and you can get a gig doing stand-up there.

    You Front Office Haters can't have it both ways... if everyone knows our front office are idiots, why would their opinion hurt Thibs' value around the league?

    OMG, yeah I'm sure the Magic's owner was sitting there thinking "I'd love to hire Thibs because he's a great coach, but Reinsdorf said (insert shit here), so I think I'll just hire Scott Skiles instead".

    Seriously, dude, thanks for the laughs!!!

  • In reply to Cali786:

    I do agree that the Doc Rivers trade set a standard. It set the standard for stupidity, that I think other teams were intelligently reluctant to follow. I remember thinking at the time, "how do the Celtics always seem to find a chump to trade with, while the Bulls never are able to"?

  • I would expect nothing less from the classy Bulls FO than petty parting shots after they fire someone. Gar and Pax have zero class and can tolerate even less criticism or their fragile egos will explode.

    Pressure is on FO now as they clearly think this team should have done more. Prove it! They were not Championship material at all over the past few seasons Thibs keeping them in the playoffs every year was magic. This season they had a chance to get the opportunity to be blown out in the Finals. But they were far from so talented that they were expected to win it all let alone even come out of the weak ass eastern conference...

    I have no love for GarPax and the immature and classless moves. Paxson has long lacked the balls to pull the trigger on big moves. Phil Jackson recently said Kobe trade was all set to go but Pax refused to include Loul Deng. Really!?!?! Let's see one of the best players of all time in their prime or Loul Deng?

    I just can't wait till Jerry wakes up and tosses these Egomaniacs out.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Hang on. This press release went out under Jerry's signature. Obviously, the FO drafted it, but it was Jerry's call as to whether he wanted to tone things down or not. Obviously, he elected not to. Jerry is a smart guy and not the type to allow something like this to happen unless he was seriously pissed off at Thibs himself. I am not necessarily a fan of the Bulls' FO but make no mistake Jerry's fingerprints are all over that press release.

  • In reply to bjb57:

    Fair point but Gar's and Paxson corresponding comments have fallen right in line with the press release. Neither of whom could resist parting shots in their comments as well. Of course I would expect nothing less than pettiness and insecurity from the not so dynamic duo.

    These are the guys that issued a press release immediately after Reggie Rose criticized them and did it in Derricks name.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Supposedly, at that time Kobe said that he would not accept a trade to the Bulls if Deng was going to the Lakers, supposedly, if things ever really got that far.

  • I thought "had some success" was a poor, sour grapes choice of words. Just "had success" would have been fine. I would have been more complimentary towards Thibs, talked about the great success he's had, etc. Reinsdorf's statement makes it clear why they're firing him.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Great success is not getting eliminated from the playoffs, not only by LeBron several times, but also by Philly. Sure Rose was hurt, but there was also the debate whether he should have been in there when he was hurt or if his knee would have snapped the next day anyway.

    Great success would be if the Hawks lose Saturday and Quenneville gets canned, not that that is going to happen. Quenneville has 2 Stanley Cups with the Hawks. As everyone says, the goal is the championship, not a .550 record in the regular season.

    This isn't any different than when the Bulls said Doug Collins couldn't get them from point B to point A, but I don't know if they have a Phil Jackson in the wings.

  • In reply to jack:

    I don't disagree with your definition of "great success," but if I were the Bulls, those are the words I would have used while dismissing Thibs.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    They certainly could have used a bit more class because we did have a lot of success given the circumstances. Then again Pax should have been fired for literally fighting with Del Negro is they had any class at all. That was nonsense in a professional environment. Either way I do think it was time for Thibs to go and hopefully we progress (offensively etc) instead of regress on the whole. Should be interesting.

  • In reply to CN71:

    Pax only did what most fans wanted to do on a daily basis when watching the Del Bimbo coached Bulls.

  • In reply to jack:

    The question I have is who could have gotten those records without their #1 star player? Look how far Miami has fallen without Lebron this year. They didn't even make the playoffs after being in the finals. Look at the Lakers without Kobe, the Knicks without Carmello. If the seasons without Rose weren't great successes, I don't know what was to be honest.

  • I wonder what happens if Hoiberg tells them no.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    Didn't Gar say (or imply) that they wouldn't make a coaching change unless they had someone else lined up?

    If so, we should hear about the new hire after a decent interval.

  • It will be fascinating to see this story unfold. There had to be seriously bad blood for Reinsdorf to approve this press release. Thus far we are really only getting the story from the FO's perspective, so it will be interesting to hear what Thibs' camp disseminates, but based on everything we have heard thus far, including this press release, it seems like Thibs may have spent this year trying to get fired.

  • In reply to bjb57:

    Of course Reinsdorf is pissed, he's about to pay someone $9million to do nothing, on top of the boozer amnesty, he might not survive the trauma to his wallet.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    He won't have to worry about his checkbook, if Thibs is truly a top-5 coach, he'll have another NBA head coaching job that will pay him $9 million over the next 2 years within the week. His Bulls contract has an offset clause, so it won't cost JR a penny.

  • I have been waiting for this day since April 2012 when Rose blew out his ACL at the end of the Philly playoff after Doug Collins already pulled his starters. I was watching the game with my son and I said to him what the hell is Rose still doing in the game. Remember that Rose already missed a lot of games that season with an assortment of injuries. Right after the injury happened I said to my son that I would fire Thibs in the locker room right after the game.

    Was that an extreme point of view? Well, what has really changed about Thibs since then? For the last three years this myopic oaf has aggrevated me to no end. And his poor coaching, erratic player rotations, refusal to develop young players and continued disinterest in running a NBA offense has cost the Bulls their best chance in years this season to get to the finals.

    So he won a bunch of regular season games. Big f'ing deal. He won those games at the cost of post season play which is all that matters. Yet I have had to listen for 3 years how he is one of the best coaches in the league. Ha.

    Well good riddance. I hope the door hits him in the ass on the way out. And I wish a championship banner falls out of the rafters and hits him in the head too. I am not a big fan of Jerry Reinsdorf but kudos for his ripping of Thibs. Sometimes you have call a spade a spade.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    Who exactly did Thibs fail to develop? Jimmy Butler and Taj have nearly maxed out their potentials and Snell is coming along quite nicely. You can only point to Teague who was a gamble on physical ability and nobody can fault him for that. I am so tired of hearing this argument its complete crap with zero evidence to support it.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Come on, Chad, Butler only began to play a lot due to injuries. A great coach would have brought Butler along faster, playing him more minutes in his rookie year.

    Same with Niko. He played a lot in March, but why? Injuries! And he played mainly at PF. It was obvious to most that he belonged at PF and he should have been getting a lot more minutes. Had that happened, the Bulls could have taken the Cavs. (Even as it was, they would have gone to 7 games if the refs had been on the ball.)

    Plus Snell and Moore should have taken most of Kirk's minutes.

    But the FO shares the blame for resigning Kirk instead of Augustine. And for not getting the needed wing player.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    I was with you 100% until the last paragraph.

    Kirk and Augustine were different players who should have been taking up different spots on the roster. Kirk should have been nothing more than a mentor to the young'uns, helping to teach them defensive fundamentals and how to run the set offense. You can't fault the FO for the fact that Thibs gave Moore's and Snell's minutes to Kurt.

    The Augustine role was filled by Brooks, who did a pretty good job at it for most of the season.

    And I don't know if I can say that the FO didn't fill the wing hole... maybe they thought they had the hole filled with Snell, but they couldn't force Thibs to play him (recurring theme - Snell plays big minutes due to injury and does a pretty damn good job before being buried on the bench yet again when MDJ and Butler are healthy...)

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Don't forget that Kirk was under minute limits directed by GarPax that infuriated Thibs. I think Thibs kept playing Kirk out of spite.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Agree that the Augustine thing is way overblown. Brooks was basically the same player. However, you're not going to compete for a championship with Mike Dunleavy as your starting SF and Tony Snell his backup. That's not going to cut it.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I don't agree that you can't win a championship with Dunleavy/Snell as your 5th best starter and his backup.

    Just look at the per36 minute stats of these 4 players:

    A - 13.4 PER, .573 TS%, 12.8 pts, 7.0 reb, 1.8 ast, 1.1 to, 0.9 stl, 0.3 blk, .405 3pt
    B - 11.1 PER, .508 TS%, 10.6 pts, 5.6 reb, 2.2 ast, 1.9 to, 2.0 stl, 0.5 blk, .338 3pt
    C - 11.6 PER, .573 TS%, 11.7 pts, 4.9 reb, 2.2 ast, 1.2 to, 0.8 stl, 0.4 blk, .407 3pt
    D - 10.2 PER, .550 TS%, 11.1 pts, 4.5 reb, 1.6 ast, 1.2 to, 0.8 stl, 0.3 blk, .371 3pt

    Two of them are Snell and Dunleavy, and the other two are Barnes and Shumpert, one of who is about to win an NBA championship.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    I would take Shumpert over Snell in a heartbeat, if for no other reason than one guy has one(a heartbeat) and the other doesn't.

    Despite never really seeing much of Barnes(he might have a case of sleepy Snell syndrome also), I have to assume that nearly everybody/anybody would take Barnes over Dunleavy, particularly as a starter.

    Also, those guys are going to win a championship on the coattails of either the reigning MVP, or a 4 time MVP who some people want to anoint as the GOAT if he wins this year. Right now, the Bulls don't have that or anywhere near the overall talent level of the 2 finalists.

    While I get your point, I think that most Bulls fans felt that starting SF was our weak spot and needs to be upgraded for next year.
    Taj the Sacto pick and/or our #1 for Rudy Gay anyone?

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I'd take Barnes over MDJ and Snell too, and I also wouldn't have a problem trading either (or both) of them for a better SF.

    SF was our weak spot last season, but then again we had 2 All-Stars and 2 guys not far removed from being All-NBA as the other four starters.

    I have a feeling that with a year to recover from last summer's surgery Noah will be a lot closer to his old self next season. I also think that Rose will be closer to his old self after making it through a season and having another summer off to recover.

    Though I could easily be wrong on both counts, I am supremely confident that the team will be better coached next season once we have a coach who actually makes adjustments and uses his players to the best of their abilities.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Even if I agreed with you there is still no denying talent develops under Thibs and has done so with impressive results. You're only argument is to assume more PT early would equal faster development. Perhaps that is true but we can not prove or disprove that. I can prove that the young guys under Thibs have had impressive success which means he does in FACT develop talent. It cannot be denied no matter how much Bulls homers wish it to be true.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Your first sentence is correct, Chad. My point was that the talent developed in spite of Thibs, not because of him. I felt I proved that:
    1) with Butler, both year 1 and 2; He likely would have developed faster under a Popovich.
    2) Mirotic. He showed his stuff at PF in March, but only because of injuries, not because Thibs chose to develop him. And then Thibs blew up that development by playing Mirotic out of position!
    3) Snell. He flashed his potential with Dunleavy hurt, but when Dunleavy returned, Snell's development crashed! He should have been getting a lot of Kirk's minutes.

  • fb_avatar

    I think this press release is not a good look for the Bulls organization--very whiny. Just let him good and say we wish him the best. BTW, I am not a big Thibs fan. Potential Coaches and players look at stuff like this. We have to ask ourselves, is this one of the reasons historically we cannot attract valuable free-agents. Now, let's go get Gentry or give Adrian Peterson a shot. I am not into this jump from college to pros coach Fred Hoiberg thing.

  • In reply to Marketus Presswood:

    I don't think this has anything to do with ability to attract FA's but I agree that the press release is whiny and not a good look.

  • We all this was coming. The players gave up on Thibs and next year would be even worse with Thibs. A new coach will bring new relationships and new hopes.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    Gave up on Thibs after being crushed by Lebron two straight games? Let's not forget the last three years without Rose. How in the hell did those teams achieve what they did without Rose? Look at last years Division champs without Lebron. Didn't even make the playoffs.

    I think the better argument is that this team quit the last half of that last game because of friction between the head coach and the front office that was constantly undermining their head coach.

  • After reading JR's statement, I can't help but think that Thibs told him 5 years ago that he was fine with the modern way of thinking that you can't push players 110% all of the time. We all know JR is loyal, often times to a fault, and his statement makes it seem as if Thibs broke his trust.

    This is an owner who asked D'Antoni if he would make the Bulls play defense if he were to become head coach, does anyone think he didn't ask Thibs about whether or not he would follow modern analytics and rest theories?

  • Was it Thibs or the Players to blame for this Up and Down Season, and even more sporadic playoffs. Well, now Thibs is gone and we'll see what kind of players we really have. And who is responsible for bringing in the players, Gar/Pax.

    Thibs did enough over the past 5 years to warrant a ticket OUT, and I'll just bet get Hired with a Raise. With 2 years salary in his pocket, he can have a bunch of teams to chose from over the next two coming years. He can be patient. He will find a good landing point FOR HIM.

    Now, I choose to worry about the Bulls. They clearly, very clearly, need:

    1--an injection of athleticism.

    2--a starting caliber wing(see 1*), and I don't mean Dunleavy or Snell).

    3--an enforcer big, (see1*0, one who rebounds and can shoot the 15-footer

    4--a true PG who can defend

    Gar/Pax, limited by a cap problem, has got a Very Difficult job ahead and must risk another PR hit in trading, what I view, as some over-rated/underachieving players.

    Interesting and Fun times ahead.

  • In reply to rakmessiah:

    Yes. They will have to trade Taj to bring in a wing. I am not sure that is possible anyway - it may depend on how large an offer Butler receives.

  • Hopefully, this will not be the biggest news of this offseason.

  • This was destined to happen. I am a little surprised by the Reinsdorf statement. It is almost like he felt he had to justify the firing givien the Thibs fans like Van Gundy out there. But I don't think that bodes well for getting a top coach. Hoiberg is a gamble. The Reinsdorf letter doesn't send a good message to other candidates about the Bulls being a great place for a coach to work.

    I think Thibs should have been fired. But why not use the old Reinsdorf saw about we needed a coach who could take us from A to C, being championships, not just from A to B when he said something like that in replacing a popular, hard working and winning coach named Doug and hired an eventual championship coach named Phil. Hope it doesn't backfire on good candidates.

    I tell you I think Mike Malone did a good job with Sacramento and he comes from a great coaching tree and got some good experience at being the head coach. But after the front office meddling in Sacramento led to his departure, he may not want to take a chance with the Bulls. And please, no Scott Brooks.

    The real question is what legitimate options are there after Hoiberg? I hate to think that Hoiberg could be more like Tim Floyd and Vinny Del Negro combined. And if we end up with coach Cartwright or Skiles, we will be rebuilding with players and coaches for many years. Now the pressure is on GarPax and Reinsdorf. Can't completely blame Thibs any more. And as I said, Thibs deserved to be fired. But I hope we don't go from the frying pan to the fire.

  • Everytime Gar or Pax fire a coach they always talk about "changing the culture." OK, how about this:

    1. Hire Hoiberg only on the condition that Kirk Hinrich takes his place at Iowa State. Kurt would connect well with the John Deere crowd at the Alumni Association.

    2. Tell Nazr Muhammed that he can stay with the organization- but only as equipment manager. You can't teach height when putting bags in the upper baggage compartment on an airplane.

    3. If Gar/Pax wants to change the current culture, don't hire Adrian Griffin.

    4. Hire a special coach to teach Noah how to make a layup. Wouldn't cost much. Any decent high school player from Lane Tech will do.

    5. Put Tony Snell on the Paleo diet. However, tell him he has to hunt for his dinner. This is a no brainer. Not only would he likely gain weight but he will become more aggressive.

    6. If the Bulls still ban headbands why do they allow Bairstow to wear that stupid thing on his head? If you are going to change the culture make him wear a decent headband for God's sake.

    See how easy that was Gar?

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    The FO might have to trade Taj for the wing - or for a high draft pick - before they resign Butler. That way I believe they can avoid the cap hit for Butler.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    I would really like to know more about this "max deal' role and restricted free agency for Butler. How high another team bid for Butler? Is there a max$ amount they can bid,., and then the Bulls can match it and keep him. If he is restricted, can the Bulls pay him more than any other team? I need info!!!!!

  • In reply to rakmessiah:

    Any team with cap space can offer Butler the maximum salary, and the Bulls have the right to match any offer sheet since he is a restricted free agent.

    The Bulls can offer a 5 year contract, other teams can only offer 4 years. And the Bulls can offer larger raises as well. (7.5% vs 4.5%)

  • fb_avatar

    Sad to see Thibs go, but it was obvious he lost the players this year and management as well. I thought that this press release was a really bad decision on JR's part. We are not doing ourselves any favors in our coaching hunt. At least Pax didn't deck him on his way out the door. My best wishes to Thibs and I hope he finds a young motivated team to coach. I'll be curious as to how we will construct our team moving forward as we have a weird kind of non-identity right now where we could go a number of ways... or no way...

  • In reply to turdburglar:

    Btw, did anyone else get the impression during Gar's press conference that one of the reasons he fired Thibs was the feedback he got from the players at their exit interviews?

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    I think GarPax were fishing for negative reviews from players, so they got it. I think their mind was already made up.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    While that is almost certainly true, if this report is true, then regardless of their personal feud with Thibs, it was simply time for Thibs to go, which is basically how I feel about his firing.

    "The real culprit behind this whole beef was time. The way the Bulls played in game six of the Eastern Conference semifinals should be a pretty good indicator as to what exactly was going on. The players had enough of Thibodeau."

    "According to Dan Bernstein of, during the exit interviews between the Bulls players and the dynamic duo known as Gar/Pax, 3 out of 5 Bulls starters were growing weary of Thibodeau’s tactics. Those players stated that they would try to avoid the Advocate Center this summer just because Thibodeau would be there."

    That last sentence is beyond damning, players stating that they would avoid the team's training facility because Thibs is always there.
    I wonder which 3, Rose, Butler and Noah, perhaps.

  • Thibs may be an example of the Peter Principle. He was an absolutely outstanding assistant. However, a head coach has to do so much more. A head coach has to manage downward (his coaching staff and his younger players), laterally (his star players, who have just as much, if not more, power as he does), upwardly (both the GM and owner, which are different relationships) and externally (the press and the fan base). It is a huge jump from assistant to head. Thibs may be so singularly focused on the technical elements of basketball that he is just not cut out to be more of a CEO type that has to manage many disparate elements of his job.

    We'll see. He certainly will get another head coaching gig, so we will get to find out whether he can adapt to all the challenges of being a head coach or if he really was meant to be a phenomenal assistant.

  • In reply to bjb57:

    And I should mention that he turned out to be an excellent regular season coach for a team that needs to change a losing culture. I think in the case of the Bulls it was hoped he could be that coach as well as one that leads a team to an NBA championship, but clearly he has not proven himself to be.

  • I also wonder how easy it will be for Thibs to get another gig. Maybe with a team at the bottom that needs a jolt and an identity. Given the Bulls failures in the playoffs, teams that feel that they are close might shy away from Thibs. It is quite likely that he is best suited to being a/the top assistant focusing only on defense.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    He won't be coaching the Magic, they have hired Skiles. Which makes sense, Skiles was Thibs long before Thibs ever got a head coaching gig...

  • In reply to BigWay:


    I Strongly believe Thibs will be a HEAD Coach again before he would take an Assistants job.

    I think he will pass up a few offers and Wait till he pretty much gets the team and FO he wants.

    Remember, he's got 2 years salary guaranteed if he waits.

    Very Curious to see who he hooks up with.

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