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Bulls will pick up option on Tom Thibodeau’s contract

May 15, 2012, 7:03 PM EDT

Tom Thibodeau AP

It’s a no brainer.

Bulls GM Gar Forman confirmed during a press conference Tuesday the team will pick up the option on Tom Thibodeau’s contract for next season. From the AP:

Forman says Thibodeau is “one of the finest coaches in the league” and the Bulls are “hopeful he’ll be our coach long term.”

Thibodeau has been a success — 112-36 in two regular seasons, one trip to the conference finals and one Coach of the Year award — not just because he has Derrick Rose but also because he got the team to buy into a defensive mindset at the other end of the floor. He had the team playing well without Rose.

Which he’s going to have to do next season with Rose out until late December at the earliest. Maybe eventually Thibodeau’s grinding style will wear out its welcome with Bulls players, but we are a long way from then.

  1. jeffw - May 15, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Tom Thibodeau is the greatest coach of all time and should get a 30 year extension… Just kidding. He’s adequate and I really don’t care who coaches the Bulls!

    • boondocksaint224 - May 15, 2012 at 7:51 PM

      Dynamite input, moron.

      Thibs has done a fantastic job, and has me cringing when I think back on the Bulls passing on Mike D’Antoni to sign Vinny Del Negro. The fact that it all led to Thibs coaching the Bulls makes those two seasons seem a distant memory. Couldn’t be happier with the results so far.

    • tk41 - May 15, 2012 at 10:32 PM

      Hes a very good coach with a strategy that may not be sustainable in the long term. Thibs is a proven regular season winner, but has done so at all costs – arguably at the cost of playoff wins. (Although Rose & Noah’s injuries are far larger culprits). Plenty of other coaches have had similar “scorched earth” strategies & have learned to adapt to the rigors of a full NBA season (Larry Brown, Doug Collins).

      It seems reasonable he will get a few more years given his defensive success and strong organizational culture he has fostered within the Bulls. This is a good move to retain him at a limited cost before he commands a much bigger deal next year.

      • hwatt - May 16, 2012 at 9:53 AM

        Yes, I also worry about the sustainability of having guys like deng play 40 min a game, then, surprise surprise, he gets injured.

        I’m not sure why so many media are saying ‘oh they’re a great regular season team, but that doesn’t work in the playoffs’ when they got all the way to the 3rd round last year. He obviously knows how to operate in the playoffs, he was part of the Celtics winning runs too. People act like this was their first time in the playoffs..

        but if he has an achilles heel, I’d say it’s this heavy defensive style and these injuries. How many other teams have 3 starters down to injury? If this happens next year then the guy may have a ceiling like D’Antoni (superior offense, can’t win a championship)

  2. j0esixpack - May 15, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Give Thibideau credit for at least knowing when to leave for the right opportunity.

    As a Celtics assistant I think he had chances into be a head coach elsewhere but knew it had to be the right situation with some decent players to work with. That’s half the battle right there.

    • LilTmac2003 - May 16, 2012 at 4:47 AM

      Actually, before he coached the Bulls, he was an assistant for 18yrs! Now I’m sure he’s interviewed for coaching positions but no team really gave him a shot. One does not simply be an assistant coach for 18 years.

      Secondly, when he did leave the Celtics, he had two contracts ready for him to sign. A 3yr deal from the Bulls and a 5yr deal from the Hornets. Being a longer offer, Hornets offer had more money on the table but Bulls had more talent. Doc Rivers told Thibs that when you get the chance to coach Rose, you take it…plus it will lead to a bigger contract if you do well.

  3. lakerluver - May 15, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    No chit! What took so long?!!

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