Bulls fans are getting a little antsy about the team’s search for a new coach…but apparently management isn’t. As far as anybody can tell, Chicago’s front office is in no particular hurry to make a decision. It’s starting to feel like waiting for a pizza delivery that won’t show up until the pie is cold and soggy.
But stuff is happening. I guess.
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes: “On the coaching front, the Bulls continue to plan to talk to some candidates at this week’s predraft camp in Chicago. One likely interviewee is former Nets coach Lawrence Frank, who also has interviewed with the Hornets and is helping run drills this week. Rockets assistant Elston Turner has told people he will talk to Bulls management this week, although he isn’t considered a leading candidate. Mo Cheeks is, though it’s uncertain when he’ll interview. … Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau, still coaching in the Eastern Conference finals, is expected to draw interest at some point.”
Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald adds: “Unless Phil Jackson or Doc Rivers gets involved, the Bulls’ coaching search looks like a two-man race between Maurice Cheeks and Lawrence Frank.”
Cheeks and Frank? Really? Well, if that’s the case, I hope Frank cleans up his potty mouth first. As for Mo, his 284-286 coaching record may not be that impressive, but he was always a class act:
But what about all those rumors about the Bulls going after LeBron James, and therefore letting James more or less choose the team’s next coach?
ESPN’s Ric Bucher has some thoughts on that subject: “Anyone believing the Chicago Bulls would promise James he could hire his head coach doesn’t know owner Jerry Reinsdorf or the franchise’s history during Jordan’s era. Jordan, after all, didn’t want Jackson to replace Doug Collins as head coach, despised the deal that sent his good friend Charles Oakley to the Knicks for Bill Cartwright and had legendary contempt for GM Jerry Krause. ‘Jerry will never, ever turn the franchise over to a player,’ said one former Bull. ‘Ever.'”
Yeah, that sounds about right.
Of course, Bucher also added this: “That leaves the Cavs, or anyone else, searching for an unproven coach with the potential to command James’ respect by the sheer force of his personality and basketball IQ — in essence, a young Phil Jackson. And there’s nothing wrong with asking James who that might be. He very well might have someone in mind who makes sense. That’s why there haven’t been any coaching hires by New Jersey or Chicago and why Riley floated the idea that he’d be willing to step in for current coach Erik Spoelstra.”
So the wait might be for LeBron. Or it might be a case of waiting for the right coach. Or it might be that Bulls management is being very, very careful. At any rate, I hope you enjoy waiting on pins and needles. The team might not have a new coach for another month or so.
For what it’s worth, it looks like Doug Collins could end up coaching the Philadelphia 76ers, so I’m guessing he’s off the Bulls’ coaching board for the foreseeable future.