After an early exit from the playoffs we all knew that rumors would begin to swirl about Melo, Love, and other superstars wanting to come to Chicago. Or that the Bulls may be pursuing this offseason. Rumors of Derrick Rose and his next move during his rehab process. But, the one least expected by Bulls fans to happen so early in the offseason, was rumors of teams wanting to pursue Tom Thibodeau. In a tweet earlier today Dave McMenamin, of ESPN LA reports
Now when I first heard about this I chuckled to myself and thought, really? This is already happening? No way he leaves. Then I thought, it’s kind of odd we keep hearing teams wanting to pursue Thibs. There could be more to this than just, Thibs. But, before I get into that here is my take on the situation.
As the head coach of the Chicago Bulls Tom Thibodeau has won Coach of the Year, taken a team to the ECF, and coached them to the best record in the NBA twice, since 2010-11. He has coached a player to MVP honors as well as another player DPOY honors. Turned average players into All-Stars and seems to have a “contender” at the start of every season. So why, when he is on the cusp of possibly getting his MVP in Derrick Rose back, and also a good chance of a second star to finally push this team over the top, why would he go to a team that has 3 players on their roster for next season? An older slower Kobe Bryant, 40-year-old Steve Nash, and Robert Sacre. That’s it. Is he really willing to leave a title contender for a team that will essentially be a rebuilding project?
The first initial answer is no, that sounds like NBA coaching suicide. Going to a team with an aging Legend and a team that looks like they are in the rebuilding stages just makes no sense. But, with cap space to sign another star, and being out from under the GarPax dictatorship could seem like music to Thibodeau’s ears. After all, we don’t know how bad that relationship really is behind closed doors.
Now for what could really be going on here, just a little reading between the lines by my part. A few ideas of what really could be me thinking way off base, or actually on to something. First thing is first. If teams (Knicks and Lakers so far) are already or have already been reaching out to the Bulls for Thibs’ services, could the situation within the organization really be true. Could it honestly be that the hate is real? Has the separation already happened and the divorce is in the works? If not then why have two teams now stepped up and made it be known they want to try to pry Tom away from the Bulls? Besides the fact that he is considered one of the top coaches if not the top coach in the NBA. Why now? Especially when he has 3 more years under contract and knowing he won’t be let go for cheap.
Secondly, the part where Melo has asked Bulls players about Thibs, and how it is to play for him. This didn’t necessarily mean he was asking because he has interest in coming to Chicago. Remember, Melo loves NY. He may feel that with a coach like Thibs, his superstar talents, along with his supporting cast, is all that is needed to bring a ring back to The Mecca.
There is the possibility that he wanted to make sure that he really wants to make a demand to new team president Phil Jackson that he wants to play under Thibs. That if he is going to stay in NY, Thibs needs to be a part of the reason he stays. Now, here is where I bring a little craziness into it. So bear with me. Who is Phil Jackson engaged to? That’s right part owner and president of the LA Lakers Jeanie Buss. There is a possibility the ideas of Melo wanting Thibs reached her ears, and she in turn knows Melo is wanted in a Laker uniform. So why not go after Tom? Hopefully by getting Thibs from the Bulls, they would be able to dangle their new head coach in front of the 30-year-old superstar, soon to be free agent.
Sounds crazy I know. But it’s something to think about. If Melo really wants to play for Thibs, and teams are aware of that situation as well as the Thibs and GarPax relationship, why not use these tactics? Doesn’t seem so nuts when you sit back and actually think about it. The key to getting Melo could be getting ahold of Tom first. Right now the Bulls have Tom. Which in this situation means the Bulls are front-runners for Melo. Right?
Now, what happens in the next few days? Well one of two things. Either the Bulls will approach Tom and ask him if he wants to weigh his options next season with other teams, or they completely squash all rumors and ideas of a rift between the two sides by denying the Lakers their request. If they approach Thibs instead of squashing it, the ball is in his court. He squashes it and the front office knows he is a happy man. He pursues it, and not only do the Bulls know they have a serious problem on their hands, but so does the public and even worse, the city of Chicago.