In the sheer mass of depression that was the Chicago Bulls’ 99-70 loss to the Sacramento Kings last night, and with Joakim Noah’s epic farewell to the referees after his ejection, it’s easy to overlook Tom Thibodeau trolling the crap out of Carlos Boozer. But we can’t pretend it didn’t happen.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 24 hours or so, you’re probably aware that Boozer let it be known that he’s not happy with being benched during most fourth quarters during his Bulls tenure. Leaving aside the part where this has been happening since Boozer got here and is somehow only now an issue, and that it works quite well, thank you very much, it was hard to imagine Thibs would take something like this lying down. And he did not disappoint.
Down 14 to start the fourth quarter, Thibs watched the Kings extend the lead to 18 with 9:36 left before he sent Boozer back into the game. By the five-minute mark, the league had swelled to 27, and Thibs had seen enough, summoning Erik Murphy — who, by the way, had played fewer total minutes than the Bulls have played games this season coming into last night — and sending him into the game.
…for Mike Dunleavy.
Boozer would play for another two minutes after Murphy entered the game, only leaving with 2:44 left and the Bulls down 28. I can only assume Thibs greeted Boozer on the sideline with something like this:
“YOU HAPPY NOW? YOU WANTED MORE FOURTH QUARTER MINUTES? WELL I GOT YOUR FOURTH QUARTER MINUTES RIGHT HERE. NOW SIT YOUR LAZY [redacted] [expletive deleted] DOWN BEFORE I DO IT FOR YOU.”
To some extent, it’s hard to blame Boozer too much for complaining. These last two seasons aren’t remotely what he signed up for when he agreed to join the Bulls. He’s been as healthy as he’s ever been the last three years, been every bit the good soldier right up until yesterday, and received nothing but abuse for his trouble. Obviously, most of that abuse is warranted, more or less, but still. Boozer’s tenure in Chicago has always had a (literal) expiration date, and we’re coming up on it now. I wish he wouldn’t sound off in the media about this stuff, but I understand where he’s coming from.
But seriously, it was totally worth it if only to see Thibs blatantly troll him like that.