Rumors of irreconcilable differences between the Chicago Bulls and Tom Thibodeau have been circulating for months. When the Bulls bowed out of the playoffs to the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games, Thibodeau's dismissal seemed like only a matter of time.
On Thursday, it finally happened. The Bulls mercifully fired Thibodeau with two years remaining on his contract, but they couldn't let him go without taking one more shot at the coach. In a statement issued by owner Jerry Reinsdorf, the Bulls went into great detail about just how much their relationship with Thibodeau had eroded.
Let's go line by line, and grade it with fire emojis.
Chicago Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf: "The Chicago Bulls have a history of achieving great success on and off the court. These accomplishments have been possible because of an organizational culture where input from all parts of the organization has been welcomed and valued, there has been a willingness to participate in a free flow of information, and there have been clear and consistent goals.
Woooooo. Now that's an opening salvo. Couldn't the Bulls just have said they decided to go in a different direction? APPARENTLY NOT.
While the head of each department of the organization must be free to make final decisions regarding his department, there must be free and open interdepartmental discussion and consideration of everyone's ideas and opinions. These internal discussions must not be considered an invasion of turf, and must remain private.
DAMN. It's like Thibs wouldn't let Gar Forman sit at his lunch table.
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. When everyone is on the same page, trust develops and teams can grow and succeed together.
Thibodeau has the sixth-highest winning percentage in NBA history among qualified coaches, and had to compete in the playoffs without Derrick Rose for three of his five seasons. But forget that. Let's burn it all to the ground.
Unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture.
Someone call Nelly, because it's getting extremely hot in here.
To ensure that the Chicago Bulls can continue to grow and succeed, we have decided that a change in the head coaching position is required.
As you might remember, the Bulls had major issues with their coach the last time they were good, too. Former GM Jerry Krause once said "players and coaches don't win championships; organizations win championships." And that was when the Bulls had Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson and won six championships in eight years.
Head coaches may come and go in the NBA, but some things never change.