After months of hand-wringing and head-scratching by sports writers and fans, the Bulls have finally come to terms with Tom Thibodeau on a contract extension. Let the relief wash over you in an awesome wave.
The Chicago Bulls and coach Tom Thibodeau agreed on a four-year contract extension, the team announced on Monday.
The deal is “very close” to the reported $18 million deal Scott Brooks signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder over the summer, a source familiar with the situation told ESPNChicago.com’s Melissa Isaacson. The four years are on top of the option year the Bulls picked up on Thibodeau for the 2012-13 season.
So the Bulls not only got their man — seemingly at or reasonably close to his fair market value — they have him locked up for the next five seasons. That’s great for the Bulls players and the franchise.
Said Thibs: “Obviously, I’m very excited to be here and very thankful to (owner) Jerry (Reinsdorf) and to (executive vice president) John (Paxson) and (general manager) Gar (Forman) and certainly all our players and our fans. I love being here, I never doubted it would work out. This is where I want to be. Jerry has been great to me from the day I arrived.”
Added Derrick Rose: “It’s great, man. Just to know that we finally got a deal done, he got his deal done. I don’t know if he has been thinking about it. He hasn’t said anything (to) me. No one has said anything to me about that but you all. I’m just happy that he’s my coach for an x amount of years. He’s a guy that we need around this organization, where he’s pushing everyone in the entire organization to want to be better and try to push this organization to win a championship.”
Thibs is the real deal and everybody knows it. This guy won 100 games faster than any coach in NBA history. He guided his team to the league’s best record in back-to-back seasons with only one true star and scads of injuries to key players.
Now, we could argue all day that this should have been taken care of months ago, but it hardly matters now. The deal is done. Thibodeau will be coaching the Bulls for several years to come.
Now we just need to work in all the new guys, make sure Luol Deng’s wrist and Joakim Noah’s ankle are okay, keep Carlos Boozer healthy while hoping (or even praying) that he can play a little defense, and get Derrick Rose back fully healed and at the top of his game.
You know, that’s all.
“Obviously I’m glad that we got the contract part done, and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead. My expectations are always the same and that’s for players to put everything they have into each and every play, to strive for improvement and then to play our best basketball the second part of the season.
“I don’t know where we’re going to end up, but I like the makeup of the new guys, I like the makeup of the guys returning. I don’t want us to skip any steps. The important thing is to do right things each and every day and results take care of themselves.”
That’s Thibodeau. Always working.