For the record, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers thinks Tom Thibodeau will still be coaching the Chicago Bulls in 2014-15. Rivers, Thibodeau’s former boss in Boston, also thinks the Bulls would be “nuts” to let Thibs walk.
Rivers made those comments before Friday’s game between the Clippers and Bulls at the United Center on Friday to ESPNChicago.com.
“He’s under contract, so yeah. I don’t know why he wouldn’t be. I think it would be nuts not to have him here. He’s the best coach, one of the best coaches in this league. So if you have that, that’s an asset. And I don’t think any right-minded organization would allow that asset to leave. Because with all this adversity they’ve had with injuries, if you allow that one to leave, things will fall apart. And that would be pretty much a guarantee.”
This was supposed to be the year the Bulls rejoined the NBA’s elite, with Derrick Rose expected to return after missing all of 2012-13 while his repaired ACL healed. But Rose tore his right meniscus in November and management opted to move Luol Deng earlier this month, trading the two-time All-Star to the Cleveland Cavaliers for salary cap relief (they acquired Andrew Bynum and immediately waived him) and future draft picks.
There has been a ton of speculation about Thibodeau as rumors circulate about his testy relationship with the front office. However, all sides maintain the working relationship is fine, there is some tension there.
The start was when the front office opted to not bring back assistant coach Ron Adams and it escalated when Deng was moved.
For his part, Thibodeau doesn’t want to talk about it.
“Obviously, I have a lot of respect for anything Doc does say. But to go down that path … every day there’s something going on. I’m not going to comment on rumors you guys [the media] start and then you wait for me to respond.”
That wasn’t to say Thibs was in a foul mood about it, though.
“Now, the rumor about my date with Kate Upton, started by me, I’m not commenting on that either. So let’s move on.”
Well played, coach … well played.
As far as last week went, the Bulls were 3-1, beating the Lakers in overtime on Monday and winning at Cleveland Wednesday before taking one on the chin from the Clippers on Friday. They bounced back for a win at Charlotte Saturday night.
Chicago is currently 22-21, and moved past Washington for sole possession of fifth place in the East, and is now five games ahead of the ninth-place Pistons. The Bulls trail the Central Division-leading Indiana Pacers by 12 games and are in second place.
Here is the week that was, including game reviews, some news and notes, the rookie watch, injury updates, a look at the Bulls’ stats for the week and season and player of the week selection, as well as a look ahead to next week’s action (all statistical information from NBA.com/Stats):