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Report: Carmelo Anthony asked what it was like to play for Bulls coach Thibodeau

Apr 13, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

Carlos Boozer, Carmelo Anthony, Jimmy Butler

Now that the Knicks have officially been eliminated from the playoffs, it’s open season on rumors about what Carmelo Anthony will choose to do this summer.

It’s widely expected that Anthony will not pick up his player option worth $23.5 million for next season, in order to take a max contract for four or five years after first exploring his free agent options.

The Bulls have emerged as a front-runner for Anthony’s services if he decides New York is no longer viable, given the framework for a championship that the team has in place, along with the big market city that a player of Anthony’s caliber requires.

The fact that Anthony has been speaking about Tom Thibodeau in glowing terms lately has only helped the rumors, and the latest report about him inquiring further about the respected head coach is pouring gasoline on the fire.

From Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

Carmelo Anthony recently approached a former Chicago Bulls player and asked a loaded question that should make Phil Jackson a little nervous.

“What is it like to play for Thibs?” Anthony said.

Anthony’s interest in Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau can be taken one of several ways. Anthony, who lives and breathes basketball, is merely interested in learning something about one of the NBA’s top coaches. In fact, Anthony will be working with Thibodeau, who was named to USA Basketball’s coaching staff last June.

Of course, Anthony’s impromptu background check on Thibodeau could also be his idea of due diligence since the Bulls loom as an attractive option this summer for the free-agent-to-be.

And as recently as Friday, Anthony complemented Thibodeau, and the players who play so hard for him, no matter the circumstances.

When asked on Friday why the Bulls have survived losing key players while the Knicks haven’t, Anthony said: “I have no clue. Thibs is a great coach, his system kind of reminds me of Gregg Popovich’s system.

“You put anybody in that system and it’s going to work. That’s what they’ve been doing. They’ve had guys sitting out all season long, guys that’s been in and out of the lineups and they seem to get it done.”

It’s worth noting that Anthony would have to leave an extra year and in the neighborhood of $30 million on the table to leave New York, but just as Dwight Howard chose to do last summer, we’ve seen that players with more than $100 million in career earnings before including endorsement dollars are willing to make a move if the situation is right.

We have well over two months before free agency begins, but as far as the wild rumors surrounding Anthony are concerned, the first shot has been fired. And the speculation surrounding a potential move to Chicago will remain one of the hottest topics out there until a new contract has been formally signed.

  1. dudermcrbohan - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:35 PM


  2. sportsfan18 - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Please Bulls, NO!

    Melo will never win a championship and he’d doom your team until he retires…

    Melo will be 30 yrs old next season. Please wait one more year and get Kevin Love instead Bulls.

    We ALL know the Bulls need scoring. They are a great defensive team that struggles to score.

    Love has averaged 26 points a game the last two full seasons (this yr and 2 yrs ago as last season he missed basically the entire year with a broken hand).

    Melo has averaged 28 points a game the last two seasons.

    But, Melo has had to take over 22 shots and over 21 shots a game those two seasons to get those 28 points a game.

    Love only needed 19 and 18 shots a game to get his 26 points a game.

    Love has a HIGHER career 3 pt shooting percentage than Melo does.

    Love has a higher career free throw percentage than Melo does.

    Love is more efficient at scoring than Melo (more points on fewer shots) and he still scores a lot (26 points a game the past two full seasons).

    Love will only be 26 next season to Melo’s 30

    Besides bring more points on less shots, shooting better from 3 pt range and the free throw line, Love out rebounds Melo by a ton too… Love, who is slow, weak, can’t jump etc… averages 13.5 boards a game in his career. Dwight “super athletic freak” Howard averages 12.9 boards a game in his career. Shaq, 7′ 1″ and 335 lbs give or take a small child only averaged 10.9 boards a game in his career.

    Love is younger, cheaper, scores more efficiently and is a better shooter than Melo overall, rebounds a lot and he is a great passer for a big man (especially those full court throws/passes on fast breaks)…

    Neither Love nor Melo play much defense but the Bulls are a great defensive team who needs offense.

    Love is younger, cheaper and will provide more efficient offense and 20 plus points a game for the Bulls while doing MORE things (namely rebounding) than Melo will.

    D Rose and Love worked out together one off season in L.A. a few yrs ago too with R. Westbrook of the Thunder.

    Melo offers more splash, but Love offers more substance.

    • roanboon - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      But wait, sportsfan18, what about the great spirit of individualism that Melo exudes? and they ways he expresses himself through his game? Plus, he’s going to sell more jerseys than Kevin Love. Efficiency doesn’t sell tickets for your owner, personality and celebrity does. If the Bulls can get a player who can express himself as well as Melo, wins no longer matter.

      • philtration - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        The Bulls have no problem with selling tickets.
        They have led the NBA in attendance for the last 5 years in a row and they have not finished otr of the top three in a long long time.

        If they bring in Melo it will be to win a championship… NOT to sell tickets and shirts.
        Winning puts people in the seats.

    • cruzan80 - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      Comments like this one is exactly why executives never read these sites. If they listen to some of the delusional fans in the stands…they’ll end up sitting in the stands with them.

      Sorry I have to be the one to break it to you but Gar Forman & Joakim Noah are smarter than you at basketball buddy…hence the reason why there’re interested in signing Melo this summer….its the SMART move to make.

      MOST Bulls fans who care more about their team winning a title than about their own personal hate of one particular player would agree with the signing of Carmelo Anthony in a heartbeat.

      You sound like a bitter, ridiculous hater when you make dumb comments like “Melo will never win a championship and he’d doom your team until he retires.”. I’m gonna go out on a limb here & assume that your not actually Jesus Christ so that would make your comment just a worthless opinion. If Melo signs with the Bulls & they win the title next season….what are you gonna say then??? As a Bulls “fan” your not gonna celebrate it because you just spent years hating on a guy who just helped your team win their 1st title since the Jordan era?

      Stop setting yourself up to look like a dummy man. Melo is a top 10 player in this league, playing in his prime, who excels at the skills the Bulls severely lack…even WITH Rose. Gar Forman knows that…JoaKim Noah knows that. Do yourself a favor & abandon this idea of waiting another year to give big money another PF who puts up big numbers but has ZERO effect on his teams success….the Bulls have seen that movie before (Carlos Boozer). Put down the Haterade, be a REAL fan of the Bulls & hope Gar can pull it off.

    • maracineanu16 - Apr 13, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      I hope he doesn\t become a Bulls, because that means trading someone like Taj, or Jimmy, or no t fringing back DJ. This guys MUST be with the team for years to come. Melo is a player that I really admire, but please NO

      • cruzan80 - Apr 13, 2014 at 6:11 PM


        “that means trading someone like Taj, or Jimmy”

        Ummm….actually no…it doesn’t. Mike Dunleavy Jr. (trade) & Carlos Boozer (amnesty)…..those would be the two current Bulls who would be ousted in order to sign Melo at about 18 mil per year.

        That give the Bulls a possible starting lineup of:


        If your trying to tell me that your a Bulls fan & don’t like this lineup…..I would like to have some of whatever is in your pipe sir.

      • 00maltliquor - Apr 14, 2014 at 2:01 AM

        @ cruzan

        I second that.

    • joeycastaneda18 - Apr 13, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      Why do we need love if we have boozer and. Taj

    • antistratfordian - Apr 13, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      Why would Love go to Chicago? He’s a beach boy (literally) – he’s going back to Cali.

      • sonnysuave - Apr 14, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        Not if Dantoni is still there. All Laker bigs (Pau, Kaman, JHill) have total disdain for his system, his lack of communication, and stubbornness to maximize their strengths. If you were a big, Lakers is the LAST place you’d consider… since Jimmy Buss/Kupchak/Dantoni are convinced that run&gun is the way of the future.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 21, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        Love is not a traditional big like Pau Gasol. Love loves shooting threes. He’s a stretch 4. Mike D’Antoni and stretch 4s go together like spaghetti and meatballs.

        If Love digs triples as much as he seems to, he’d probably run to D’Antoni as fast as he can.

    • rodyaugu - Apr 13, 2014 at 5:17 PM

      Both of these guys are not great options, but If was the bulls I would pick Melo over Love. Melo is in the stage of his career where winning is the most important thing considering most of his draft class have already won championships. You want a player that is hungry and motivated to win now. I’m a big heat fan, even if the big three decide to stay, I don’t think they will have enough in the tank to win in 2015. 2015 is the best chance for a team like the bulls and a player like Melo to win a championship. Love is great player, but the guy never lead a team to the playoffs. The excuse that he doesn’t have the talents around him has played out. He has enough talent around him, even in a tough west to lead a team to the playoffs. All he has to do is be a leader and lead that team, that clearly have enough talent to make the playoffs in any conference.

    • Big Ant TV - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:08 PM

      ya completely right also those banner above in the rafters of united center is something melo will not really embrace too motivate him

  3. zackd2 - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Well Melo “isn’t a winner ” so I assume I will see Bulls fans upset to see this and media making jokes about the Bulls if this does somehow occur.

  4. 1harrypairatesties - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Please come to Chicago Melo. Thibs is a coaching God who’s players play hard for him. He is respected & liked here in Chicago. You will be too.

    • sumkat - Apr 13, 2014 at 5:42 PM

      “a coaching god” who’s never won anything? odd

      • paleihe - Apr 14, 2014 at 1:54 AM

        You know he’s only been a head coach for 3-4 years, right? Give the dude some time. Only thing I don’t like about him is the minutes his guys play.

      • 00maltliquor - Apr 14, 2014 at 2:04 AM

        Doesn’t he have a ring being the Celtics ast. coach/defensive guru? And also what paleihe said…

  5. cantonb0und13 - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    Doesn’t matter what the Knicks do at this point. They are cursed. Sucks being a Knicks fan.

    • ranfan12 - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:51 PM


    • Big Ant TV - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:11 PM

      imao he said cursed lol

  6. cantonb0und13 - Apr 13, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Why couldn’t LeBron signed with the Knicks? I only hate on LeBron because he signed with the Heat, and the Knicks had to give A’mare a $100 contract. Phil Jackson can’t even fix this cursed team.

    • ringjames - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      a $100 contract? He signed with AT&T??

      • cantonb0und13 - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        I meant $100M contract. Sorry, I can’t focus right now, it’s extremely hard to be a Knicks fan.

      • retxedfred - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:04 AM


  7. cantonb0und13 - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    I only say bandwagon Heat fans because let’s face it I’m a fan of the New York Knicks… Guys give me a break, I’m a Yankees, Dolphins and Knicks fan. Why did I start rooting for the Knicks!? Why???

  8. lj312chicago - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    ….wait an see if Lbj opts out if lbj leaves Miami there’s only one viable choice if he wants to continue winning…. Chicago

    • cantonb0und13 - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      Doesn’t matter which team LeBron plays for, he makes every team a championship caliber team.

    • alshonsmeathooks - Apr 13, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      sounds like a great fit seeing how much Bulls fans and players despise him

  9. sackofrice - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    i hate the stupid ad that moves horizontally. hopefully you will find a less annoying way to advertise.

    • eugenesaxe1 - Apr 13, 2014 at 4:49 PM


      • Professor Fate - Apr 13, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      • eugenesaxe1 - Apr 13, 2014 at 10:13 PM

        I’m not *that* helpful, I make people use the Googler.

  10. paulrinn - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Didn’t we already know this? Didn’t Melo ask Noah about playing for Tibs? Is this being recycled for a reason?

  11. nbascreed - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Hey Brett, that’s not actually a loaded question buddy. A loaded question assumes an answer or a premise that has not yet been stipulated to. When did you stop eating hot dogs would be a loaded question. Asking what it’s like to play for a team or a coach is the opposite of a loaded question.

  12. dolphindubs - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:12 PM


    Damn. I feel kind of bad now, with some of my comments directed at you.

    At least we’re both Dolphins fans, so we share in that grief…

    • cantonb0und13 - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      I’m a bandwagon Dolphins fan though. I only root for them because of Dan Marino. I root for the Patriots more because Tom Brady is currently my favorite player.

      • cantonb0und13 - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        I actually like Brady more than Marino. And honestly, I rather watch the Patriots than the Dolphins. Bill Belichick and Rex Ryan are currently my two favorite coaches. Like I said, I only like the Dolphins because of Marino.

  13. rodge1 - Apr 13, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    That’s not the real cantonbound13

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      That guy’s not a pea brain like the real CantonPeabrain.

  14. eugenesaxe1 - Apr 13, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    “Well, Mr. LaLa, he expects you to play defense, hard, every play.”

    Mr. LaLa: “NEXT!”

  15. antistratfordian - Apr 13, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    “Well, he runs you into the ground and the only way you won’t be put on the floor is if you’re in a hospital bed.”

  16. doctorfootball - Apr 13, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    Melo is not the guy you want to try to build around. By all means, please leave NY and go to Chicago

  17. xli2006 - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    The easiest decision Phil Jackson has this offseason is letting Carmelo walk.

    Why would Phil stake his Front Office legacy to Carmelo?

  18. psly2124 - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    Why would anyone play in by and give almost 60% of your earnings to taxes. And they always stink. Chicago is no better. I would go to Texas or Florida no state income taxes. You would save roughly 30 million going to those states.

    • Kurt Helin - Apr 19, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      Those numbers are high.

  19. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Apr 13, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    Phil Jackson doesnt want Melo. Lets be serious. I honestly pray this guy leaves. SIgn and trade and get something back.

  20. chiadam - Apr 13, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    It’ll never work. Rose’s max deal is really a super max deal thanks to the Derrick Rose rule. Add in Melo and over 60% of the cap is gone. Add in Noah and Taj and they’re well over the tax line for four players. That doesn’t even account for extending Butler or bringing Mirotic over.

  21. 00maltliquor - Apr 14, 2014 at 2:09 AM

    Will the real cantonbound13 PLEASE stand up! lol

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      His name’s CantonPeaBrain.

  22. batoujitsu - Apr 14, 2014 at 4:32 AM

    Put carmelo in the triangle and he will thrive. Kobe would be where carmelo is now at 30 if it wasnt for the triangle offense

    • campcouch - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      Carmelo would thrive in any offense that gave him help. I know the Olympic squad was loaded but he did elevate his game when there were other options on the floor besides STAT throwing down one monster dunk a game and JR doing a heat check on the first shot.

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