HoopsHype John Paxson rumors

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May 29, 2015 Updates

Sam: I do have to defend the Bulls on this one as it has become sort of a smear campaign, that big lie thing that if you say a lie often enough people will believe it. The parting with Vinnie went badly and John Paxson did regret the events and apologized. As a result, he hasn’t had much interaction with Thibodeau. But the Bulls often have been more generous to their coaches than I would have been. Doug Collins and Jackson still remain close with Bulls management, Paxson and Collins still emailing almost weekly. Collins received championship jewelry from the team to thank him for his contributions even though he was fired two years before the first title. And despite Jerry Krause’s open courtship of Tim Floyd, Reinsdorf offered Jackson a multiyear deal at the league’s highest salary to begin a post-Jordan rebuilding. Jackson declined as he didn’t want to be involved in rebuilding. Tim Floyd quit and Reinsdorf paid him the full two years left on his contract. Scott Skiles told management he couldn’t coach the players anymore. They let him go, but they cancelled the offset in his contract so he could go to the Bucks and double dip with two salaries instead of the Bulls getting his Bucks salary. And though there was bitterness at Thibodeau’s discharge, no one in 20 years had hired Thibodeau to be head coach until the Bulls did. And then they gave him a generous contract extension and he’ll make $9 million the next two years. It doesn’t exactly suggest a pattern of coaching abuse. NBA.com

Over and over, those listening to John Paxson and Gar Forman would tell you that Bulls management could never make peace with the praise heaped upon Thibodeau for 60-victory seasons and deep playoff runs. For them, it was too much about the best defense in the NBA, too much about his development of journeymen into rotation contributors, good players into All-Stars, great players into an MVP. Yahoo! Sports

May 28, 2015 Updates
May 27, 2015 Updates

As of Wednesday, all remained quiet as far as the job status of Thibodeau. That doesn’t mean details of the frayed relationship between coach and front office haven’t stopped permeating throughout the league. While there had been reports of Bulls VP of basketball operations John Paxson trying to force-feed an offensive-minded presence on Thibodeau and his staff last summer, that so-called would-be assistant coach went nameless. According to a league source, however, it was former Bulls coach Doug Collins. Considering how close Collins and members of the Bulls front office have remained over the years, it would have been a recipe for disaster. The ultimate act of undermining. Luckily, Thibodeau resisted the idea, as his team went on and finished fourth in the Eastern Conference in offensive efficiency anyway. Chicago Sun-Times

May 16, 2015 Updates

On the other side of this contractual and psychological tug of war are Bulls GM Gar Forman and VP John Paxson, who at this point will not fire Thibodeau and let him walk to another NBA city without compensation. In fact, multiple league sources told CBSSports.com Friday that the Bulls' front office isn't even compelled to engage in compensation talks with any teams that are interested in their coach until they have a commitment from a replacement who excites them. CBSSports.com

May 7, 2015 Updates
May 5, 2015 Updates
April 27, 2015 Updates
April 25, 2015 Updates

Bulls rookie forward Doug McDermott was in the locker room before a game last month when he was told about a rumor that his father, Greg, had called the front office to complain about his son’s lack of playing time and about the role coach Tom Thibodeau played in that. ‘‘Trust me, I heard it,’’ McDermott said, acknowledging it was bothersome. ‘‘I actually talked to my dad right after someone brought that to my attention in the locker room. I called him up and was just kind of laughing, almost. He was like, ‘What are you laughing about?’ I said, ‘You hear this rumor going out that you called the front office and stuff?’ He started laughing.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

‘‘My dad would never do that,’’ McDermott said. ‘‘He’s a coach, and he has to deal with parents all the time, calling him up all the time. Boosters [and] parents calling all the time about playing time, everything. He would never do that. He has too much respect for the coaches here, [general manager] Gar [Forman] and Pax [vice president of basketball operations John Paxson], all those guys. He would never do that.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

February 26, 2015 Updates
January 29, 2015 Updates
January 26, 2015 Updates

Look, Thibodeau is a workaholic when it comes to preparation and effort and he expects his players to do the same -- wait, no, he believes in that as the surest way to success. Every player in uniform is at his disposal, which might make some linger a little longer now in street clothes when they've been hurting. Management's imposed limits on minutes, for Derrick Rose and Noah in particular, has led to the coach straining some at the leash. He and his bosses have had frictions in the past, though GM Gar Forman dismissed this week's drama as any sort of story. NBA.com

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