No Need for Reinsdorf to Disrespect Thibodeau on His Way Out

Tom Thibodeau was officially relieved of his coaching duties today by the Chicago Bulls. While Thibodeau and the Bulls needed to part ways after his five-year tenure became toxic this season with Vice-President of Basketball Operations John Paxson and General Manager Gar Forman, Thibodeau deserved a little more respect than the following statement from team owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

“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 to 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.”

In other words, Thibodeau is the problem and needed to go. It doesn’t matter that Thibodeau’s teams compiled an overall record of 255-139 in his five seasons at the helm. The .647 winning percentage ranks eighth all-time among coaches who have worked at least 100 games, and the Bulls advanced to the playoffs all five years he was coach despite playing three of those playoffs without point guard, Derrick Rose. Speaking of Rose, the fact he played in only 181 of the 394 games Thibodeau coached makes Coach Thibs’ winning percentage even more remarkable.Tom-Thibodeau-624x396

With a healthy Rose, the Bulls were the only team to challenge LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers who defeated the Bulls 4 games to 2 in the eastern conference semifinals. Now, who knows if the team will continue its progress under a new coach next season.

Thibodeau is a good coach who will bounce back. I bet he gets signed by the New Orleans Pelicans who still have a coaching vacancy. Imagine how he can continue to help power forward Anthony Davis progress the way Joakim Noah developed under his tutelage.

And that’s as I see it!

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