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Tom Thibodeau fired as Bulls coach

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The Chicago Bulls parted ways with their head coach of five years.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Thibodeau is no longer the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, the team announced Thursday. Thibodeau, who took over as the Bulls' head coach in 2010, was let go with two years and approximately $9 million left on his contract.

In a remarkably detailed and cold press release, team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf cited tension between Thibodeau and the front office. Their relationship has reportedly been strained for months, and Reinsdorf's words confirm that.

"Teams that consistently perform at the highest levels are able to come together and be unified across the organization-staff, players, coaches, management and ownership," Reinsdorf said in a statement. "When everyone is on the same page, trust develops and teams can grow and succeed together. Unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture."

Thibodeau was 394-255 in his five seasons with the Bulls. He took the team to the playoffs each year, and they reached Eastern Conference Finals in 2010-11. The defensive-minded coach did is his best to keep the Bulls afloat despite several battles with injury, especially in regards to star Derrick Rose. The Bulls were eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the 2015 playoffs.

But tensions had mounted throughout the year between the Bulls and Thibodeau. As early as January, there were reports that the relationship between the Bulls' front office and Thibodeau was deteriorating. The relationship has slowly soured in the last two years and completely fell apart as the Bulls' disappointing season ended with a second-round defeat to the Cavaliers.

The Bulls were hoping they could receive some compensation for letting Thibodeau out of his contract to coach another team, but once that didn't materialize, they elected to fire him anyway.

Teams with coaching vacancies will be interested in Thibodeau. The New Orleans Pelicans and the Orlando Magic are potential suitors.

The list of candidates to replace Thibodeau is short at the moment, with Fred Hoiberg of Iowa State University leading the field. Alvin Gentry, a Golden State Warriors assistant coach, and Adrian Griffin, a Bulls assistant, are also in the mix.