It’s official. Like, officially official.
Welcome to the Windy City, Tom. Believe me, we’re pleased as punch to have you here. A real, certified, honest-to-goodness, championship-experienced coach.
That’s not a dig on former coach Vinny Del Negro, by the way.
Said Thibodeau: “It’s been a long wait for me and to be in this city with this team is a dream come true. I certainly understand the great tradition and history of the team.”
And: “The big thing was the great young nucleus. Then there was the careful planning and management of the cap. I think when you combine those things, you saw those possibilities. And obviously, there’s the city. The tradition here with the Bulls and Chicago is a great sports town. I saw this team as having all the things I was looking for — strong ownership, strong front office and the nucleus. Those are the things that attracted me.”
Thibs also had things to say about Derrick Rose (“A big part of Derrick’s growth has to be on the defensive end.”), Luol Deng (“He’s one of the most underrated players in the league. He does so much without the ball. He’s in constant motion.”), Kirk Hinrich (“I’ve always admired his game because of his versatility. He has great competitive spirit.”) and Joakim Noah (“He plays to win. I’d like to continue to see him get stronger.”)
As for his plans for the Bulls, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes; “Thibodeau wowed Forman and executive vice president John Paxson during an interview in Los Angeles on the eve of Game 1 of the Finals with creative offensive ideas centered on drive-and-kick and pick-and-roll schemes, as well as thoughts on player development.”
Not super excited about drive-and-kick schemes, since those made up about 87 percent of Chicago’s offense the last two seasons. And that is a dig on Vinny. But hey, based on his work with the Celtics, Thibodeau has earned the benefit of my doubt.