Bulls and Thibodeau agree on four more years


Oct 1

As the Bulls’ annual media day got underway at the Berto Center on Monday, General Manager Gar Forman addressed those in attendance with a few minutes of opening comments.

Forman spoke about his excitement for camp to get started, the return of the team’s core and the progress each of those players made this summer, as well as the team’s offseason moves, notably the revamping of the bench.

Tom ThibodeauThen, he shared the day’s big news—that the Bulls and Tom Thibodeau had agreed to a four-year contract extension.

“It was certainly our goal for Tom to be the coach of the Bulls long term,” Forman said. “It was Tom’s goal to remain with the Chicago Bulls. He’s obviously one of the top coaches in the NBA. Of course, I’m biased. I get to watch him each and every day. But I think he’s the best coach in the NBA.”

Given Thibodeau, 2011’s NBA Coach of the Year, was already under contract for this season, the new deal will run through the 2016-17 campaign.

“Obviously, I’m very excited to be here and very thankful to [Bulls chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] and John [Paxson] and Gar [Forman], and certainly all our players and our fans,” said Thibodeau, who last season reached 100 wins quicker than any other coach in league history. “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. I’m excited and I’m looking forward to the challenges that we face this year.”

Thibodeau’s biggest challenge will be overcoming the absence of Derrick Rose, who will likely be sidelined until at least early 2013 as he recovers from a torn ACL. But you can count Rose among those who were happy to hear Thibodeau is in the fold for years to come.

“It’s great, man,” Rose said. “I’m just happy that he’s my coach for a 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.”

For Thibodeau, getting a deal in place allows him to do what he does best—focus on the task at hand.

“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,” said Thibodeau. “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.”

Audio—Gar Forman and Tom Thibodeau meet the media at the Berto Center (10.01.2012):

Audio—Derrick Rose meets the media at the Berto Center (10.01.2012):

Audio—Luol Deng meets the media at the Berto Center (10.01.2012):

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