The Chicago Bulls have several important assets. Derrick Rose, obviously, is one of them. Joining him is the mysterious Charlotte pick and also Nikola Mirotic, who is said to be the next Toni Kukoc (we hope). However the Bulls’ most important asset, one who cannot miss seasons and playoff games due to injury, is none other than Coach Tom Thibodeau.
Coaches like Thibodeau don’t come around often. If they do they are tuned out by players after preaching the same message (i.e. Scott Skiles). But somehow Thibs’ message stays fresh and everyone continues to buy in. Some say this is because he brainwashes his players, starting with the team’s superstar. But I believe his players pay attention because his methods just flat out works. His teams have been ranked in the top ten defensives 15 times! The proof is in the pudding. So the rumor that the Knicks want him back in NY, this time as a head coach, doesn’t come as a surprise.
Thibs helped lead the Knicks to the NBA Finals as an assistant coach in ’99. And his next season in NY they set a record of holding opposing teams under 100 points for 33 consecutive games.
In addition, the Knicks desperately want to resign Carmelo Anthony. We all know that Melo is, at times, lazy on the defensive side of the ball. So it’s makes perfect sense for the Knicks to try and woo the defensive guru to New York. And in turn it makes perfect sense for the Bulls to do whatever possible to keep Thibs happy in Chicago, not excluding kissing his big white butt.
And what is scary as a Bulls fan is that the idea of Thibs going to NY is not too far-stretched. Yes, he is under contract, but we all know that there are loopholes. There is also known friction between the Bulls’ front office and Coach Thibs. Not renewing the contract of Ron Adams, the Asik deal, free agency, the way Rose’s ACL injury was dealt with; Thibs was bothered by all of this and wasn’t afraid to let the big wigs know. And doing these things while imposing minute limits on the players was just Gar Forman’s way of flexing his muscle to show who is boss. That type of strategy may have worked with Vinny, but Coach Thibodeau is a different animal. I say just let the man do what he does best: win games!
If this turns into a “Who Has The Biggest (fill in the blank)” contest, then both sides will lose.
Will is co-host of Bulls Zone, follow him on twitter @BullsZoneWill