Bulls television commentator Stacey King joined The Dan Patrick Show on Monday to discuss the Eastern Conference Semifinal match-up between the Cavs and Bulls. Along the way, Patrick asked King whether or not it’s a foregone conclusion that Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is going to be fired at the end of the year.
“No, I don’t think he’s going (to be fired),” said King. “That’s just my personal opinion. You hear guys in the media say it’s irreparable between him and the front office. Listen, there’s not a lot of jobs out there that are this quality. If there’s a riff between him and management, I haven’t seen it. Maybe they have a difference in philosophy as far as the way he’s playing certain players. Tom coaches every game like it’s Game 7…he’s a grinder. He gets the most out of his team.”
It’s certainly true that not a lot of jobs are out there that are the same quality as head coach of the Bulls. Then again, that doesn’t really address the elephant in the room, which is the alleged non-existent, or downright icy working relation between Thibs and his bosses, Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson and General Manager Gar Forman.
When a visiting scout visited the Bulls practice facility in the past year or so, he had the opportunity to watch the awkward, strange interplay between Bulls general manager Gar Forman and Thibodeau. Eventually, the man walked into the office of an assistant coach and asked: “What the hell is the deal here?”
Before answering, the coach turned his fan on full blast. For the visitor, everything was becoming even stranger. He gave the assistant a befuddled look, as though to say, “What are you doing?”
“I’m not taking any chances,” the coach said, refusing to risk the possibility of those walls being bugged.
At this point, we’re left to wonder what seems more plausible: King’s assessment that if there’s a riff, he hasn’t seen it? Or the Woj report indicating a deep mistrust between coaches and management?
With each passing day, we’re getting closer and closer to finding out the answer.