This was a strange marriage; if a head coach and team management can be called marriage partners. Ok, call it an arrangement. It looks like the sandpaper scraping against the wood was too much for Bulls management and they said goodbye to Coach Tom Thibodeau today.
Thibodeau had a 255-139 record for a .647 winning percentage in his time with Chicago. He led the team to the Eastern Conference Finals in his first year as coach in 2011. The Bulls had a 62-20 record that season. Thibodeau was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2011.
Then Derrick Rose got hurt the next spring and it has been almost an improvised tap dance since then. Thibodeau helped F Luol Deng become an All-Star player and C Joakim Noah became the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year. Guard Jimmy Butler became the most improved player of the 2014-15 season.
How could things go south? That’s a simple question with a level of complicated answers. It is safe to say that Thibs had his own way, he was determined, almost obsessive about details kind of coach. It’s been said that he was the last guy out of the offices, where he broke down film of his team and opponents.
In his prepared statement released today, Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, spoke of the importance of synergy between team department and the executive offices. When “everyone is on the same page trust develops and teams can grow and succeed.”
Somehow, coach and the front office weren’t on the same page.
Management had enough, even though he was one of the most winningest coaches in franchise history. Thibodeau gets a buyout from his 2 years remaining on his deal valued at $9 million, and the Bulls will get a new head coach.