Tim Thibodeau fired as Head Coach of Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman announced late morning on Thursday that the franchise was not going to retain their Head Coach Tim Thibodeau for next season. In his 5 season as the Head Coach of the Bulls, Thibodeau went an overall 255-139 (.647) and led the team to the Playoffs every season, including 2 Central Division titles. With 23 Playoff wins, he is second only to Phil Jackson in Bulls Coaching history in terms of Playoff wins and overall win percentage.
This tweent by NBA on ESPN illustrates his place better:
In a long and cold message, this is what Bulls chairman had to say about the firing of Thibodeau:
Chicago Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said, “The Chicago Bulls have a history of achieving great success on and off the court. These accomplishments have been possible because of an organizational culture where input from all parts of the organization has been welcomed and valued, there has been a willingness to participate in a free flow of information, and there have been clear and consistent goals. While the head of each department of the organization must be free to make final decisions regarding his department, there must be free and open interdepartmental discussion and consideration of everyone's ideas and opinions. These internal discussions must not be considered an invasion of turf, and must remain private. Teams that consistently perform at the highest levels are able to come together and be unified across the organization-staff, players, coaches, management and ownership. When everyone is on the same page, trust develops and teams can grow and succeed together. Unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture. To ensure that the Chicago Bulls can continue to grow and succeed, we have decided that a change in the head coaching position is required. Days like today are difficult, but necessary for us to achieve our goals and fulfill our commitments to our fans. I appreciate the contributions that Tom Thibodeau made to the Bulls organization. I have always respected his love of the game and wish him well in the future.”
While the reason given for the firing is a desired change in culture of the franchise, instead as it was reported multiple times earlier in the season, it was a communication gap and failed relationship between the Head Coach and management that seems to have been the main cause. The firing had more to do with a failed relationship between the two parties rather than Thibodeau not doing enough to keep his job.
With the rumblings of Thibodeau’s firing going around very early in the season, he was considered one of the frontrunners for the New Orleans Pelicans job, who fired Monty Williams on May 12th. His term as Head Coach might have come to a bitter end in Chicago but Thibodeau is still one of the most decorated young Head Coaches in the industy.
Thibs will be taking the 9 million dollars that the Bulls owe him and his good looking resume to teams with a Head Coaching vacancy. He has spent 20 years as an assistant Coach with various teams such as Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets and the Boston Celtics before taking the Bulls coaching job. He was named NBA Coach of the Year in his rookie season as a Head Coach with Chicago, which says a lot about his capabilities as a leader and his talent.
Chicago Bulls now join Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic and the Pelicans as teams that currently have a vacant Head Coaching position.