Tom Thibodeau Rumors
This is a tough act to follow. Jason Kidd walked into a 15-victory situation with Milwaukee last season and is lauded for helping the Bucks reach .500. If the Bulls win 41 games this season, after finishing 50-32, it will be considered a disaster. You ready for that pressure? Fred Hoiberg: Look, Tom Thibodeau did an unbelievable job with this team. I’m looking to come in and build off a lot of things he did. The thing I’m excited about with this group is, they’ve got a great defensive identity. They’ve been taught very well. When you go to rebuilding situations — which a lot of college coaches do — it’s very difficult to come in and have immediate success. This job is built for success. That’s the way I’m looking at it. It’s a group of guys, a great mix of veterans and younger players that have a chance to be very good.
The Pelicans historically haven’t paid well for coaches, and Gentry’s deal reflects that. So maybe there was back-channel communication before the Gentry hiring that made Thibodeau less interested in that opening. I know some of his confidantes were encouraging him to take a year off, collect his Bulls salary and see what openings are available in 2016. He’ll be hired somewhere at some point obviously. The fact the Lakers and Thibodeau have been linked for two straight summers is intriguing.
Thibodeau said Friday that he wasn’t worried about comments from the Bulls’ front office in the immediate aftermath after the decision was made. “I don’t worry about stuff like that,” Thibodeau said. “I know for me, I put everything I have into each and every day. So I have no regrets. I’m going to let the record speak for itself.”
“Obviously, there were some issues, and I don’t want to get into all that,” Thibodeau said. “I’m very proud of what the team did. … I think any time when you have a pro franchise, there’s going to be some carping that goes on along the way.”