Asinine. Nutty. Flat out stupid.
I mean how else should one describe firing a head coach who changed the losing culture of a post-Jordan/Phil Jackson franchise and amassed a 255-139 regular season record?
During that time star point guard Derrick Rose playing only 181 of 394 games because of injuries. He damn near won 40 games without Rose, who was out all of last season. Thibodeau also didn’t have power forward Joakim Noah for much of that time as well.
His teams excelled defensively, ranking first in the league in points per game (92.6) and field goal percentage (43.2) since the 2010-11 season, his first. Oh, and Thibodeau was the 2010-2011 NBA Coach of the Year.
And despite all of those accomplishments, the front office duo of general manager Gar Forman and executive vice president John Paxson decided it was time to cut bait and move on.
Look, I understand that no matter how good you are at what you do, you HAVE to get along with your bosses. Paxson and Forman wanted Thibodeau to dial back the minutes on Rose, Noah and Jimmy Butler due to their nagging injuries and keep them fresh for the playoffs. Thibodeau kept blowing his bosses off largely due to Thibodeau’s tendency to coach each regular season game as if it were a Game 7. They also wanted Thibodeau to hire an offensive lieutenant to improve the offense, which he also said “no” to.
Thibodeau grinds on players, and has not done a good job of at least adapting to the modern NBA. That doesn’t justify Thibodeau being out of a job. After all, does the front office care more about winning or being right?
And who will Chicago bring in to take the team further along than Thibodeau did?
Fred Hoiberg? The college coach (Iowa State) who had two serious heart surgeries and is not even 50 years old? Good luck with that.
This is an example of a team not learning its lessons from the past.
Remember what the organization did to Phil Jackson after he and Jordan delivered a 6th championship? Remember when Jerry “Fat” Krause infamously said “players do not win championships, organizations do”? Remember the following season win the Bulls won a whopping 17 games the season after running Jackson and forcing Jordan into retirement?
I easily see the Bulls going down the same road.
You can’t tell me that Paxson and Forman will find a better man to coach this team than Thibodeau. Look for a big drop off in terms of wins and postseason success from whoever the front office chooses to be its next puppet. Then the team will go back to its dark ages a la the post-Jordan/Jackson years.
As a wise man once said, “one who refuses to learn from history is only doomed to repeat it”. Paxson and Forman will learn that soon enough.