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May 29, 2015 Updates

We can attempt to measure a coach’s influence by looking at how much his team wins relative to expectations set by preseason projections. And by that (imperfect) standard, Thibodeau during his time in Chicago has guided the team to about 36 more wins than would have been expected purely from its talent going into each season. FiveThirtyEight

Thibs’s tally ranks eighth among all NBA coaches since the 1979-80 season, and he did it in far fewer games than his peers atop the list. Thibodeau added about 7.5 wins per 82 games (the standard length of an NBA season), the most of any coach with at least 300 games coached. Few coaches have squeezed more wins out of their talent than Thibodeau has in his short career. FiveThirtyEight

And Thibodeau’s Bulls teams have, on balance, gone further in the playoffs than they were projected to. During his tenure as Chicago’s coach, the Bulls have accumulated 625 dynasty points — 13.1 points more than would have been expected from the talent levels of his teams. (In 2015 alone, he racked up 40 more dynasty points than expected.) FiveThirtyEight

So Thibodeau, now a local celebrity who was soon dining with the mayor and receiving congratulations from the president, was invited to throw out the first pitch before a White Sox/Cubs game. Great honor; easy work. Not for Thibs. There is no such thing. NBA.com

Thibodeau enlisted a Bulls staffer and he went out and purchased several dozen baseballs a few days before the game. Then after a typical off season day of preparing for the NBA draft and already combing game film for next season, they adjourned to a nearby baseball field. Thibodeau went to the mound about 50 feet away with the bucket of baseballs and started throwing one after another until sweat was pouring off him on the hot, humid afternoon. For perhaps an hour, Thibs practiced his throw. Almost all of them were perfect as Thibs still is a pretty good athlete and despite a late night appetite still was in good shape before knee surgery to come. But another and another. Like his practices and walk throughs in his philosophy of life and basketball, it’s in the preparation and the building of habits. NBA.com

Thibs practiced walking the 50 or 60 feet back and forth; he practiced a wave, which he would do so casually and professionally that night. A little league team showed up after a while to practice on the field. Thibs persuaded them to give him a little more time and again he went through the routine as they watched. When I first heard the story, which has circulated around the Bulls with some amusement for a few years, I shook my head as well. But then I began to think about the methods of success, it’s victims and longevity. NBA.com

May 28, 2015 Updates

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN BULLS HISTORY

Very few doubts with the Top 2, but who comes after Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen?

   

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