Tom Thibodeau is Chicago Bulls’ new leader. What does that mean?
That means Mister Thibs is the new head coach of the Chicago Bulls. After crying for a few days at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers, the prominent assistant coach of the Boston Celtics was officially ushered in as the coach for Chicago. He was the architect of the Celtics’ dreaded defense helping them to a championship and two Finals appearances. Chicago is the 3rd largest market behind Los Angeles and New York so that’s why this is worth noting. Bulls’ fans are excited.
What does the new hire mean?
To the casual fan, they don’t give a damn. Ho hum. They’re worried about the BP oil leak in the Gulf or Chris Nolan’s Inception getting Oscar buzz for visual effects.
To the hardcore fan, Thibs helped coach Yao Ming, Marcus Camby, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen. All of them became better defenders before he arrived especially KG and Rondo. Garnett earned the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year and Rondo became the steals leader. During his time in Houston, he helped them become top 5 in scoring defense and field goal percentage. He has Finals experience gained from the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. Thibodeau was the league’s top assistant who was not a head coach.
To the Chicago Bulls fan, this man will elevate Derrick Rose’s and Joakim Noah’s defense. He preached championship caliber defense AND offense, but defense is the primary. Ridiculous as this sounds – picture this as NBA 2K11 (especially for the new generation of fans). Tom Thibodeau’s style increases the team’s defense overall rank by 3-5 points. That is a huge increase. He has a superior pedigree than previous coaches, Scott Skiles and Vinny Del Negro.
To everyone, this man earned the way to get this great job. He turned down offers from the New Orleans Hornets and New Jersey Nets because Chicago was the only job he wanted. Those actions alone said a lot. Any coaching job is good, but to have the opportunity to coach a young dynamic top 5 point guard in Derrick Rose, potential all star big man in Joakim Noah, and a top 10 small forward in Luol Deng is too difficult and stupid to pass up. The Bulls were already a playoff team before he stepped on. I cannot stress that enough. He will take them to the next level and hopefully to the NBA Finals in the future somewhere.
Thibodeau toiled for 21 years as an assistant before becoming a head coach in 2010. He didn’t deserve it. He earned the blasted thing. That’s better than “deserving” anything. For any regular Joe schmoe or unknown working scrub struggling behind the scenes, earning the stripes through hard work and perseverance usually has a higher reward. Vinny Del Negro didn’t earn the job since he did not have any experience to back him. He’s a nice person, but clearly did not earn the stripes. However, he did earn some stripes with his 2 year tenure getting the Bulls in the playoffs and got some player development while having to deal with shenanigans from the front office.
I can see why Thibodeau was not a head coach before either. He stumbled a lot during the press conference, which meant that Thibs probably did not interview well in the past. That’s fine.
Remember what I said about hard work and perseverance? Great timing comes along with that. If Thibodeau was hired 3 years ago instead of Del Negro, he would be the one fired instead. Talk about great timing eh?
Do the Bulls get LeBron with Killadeau on deck? Probably not.
The five goals he preached during the press conference were defense, rebounding, inside out, unselfish, and “cut of jib.”
By the looks of things, I like the cut of his jib.