Serious rift between Chicago Bulls coaches and front office, claims Yahoo

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Supposedly, there’s a legitimate rift between the Chicago Bulls coaching staff, and the Chicago Bulls front office. Those who follow the team know there’s a disconnect, but how deep it truly is goes largely unreported.

Maybe the return of Derrick Rose can heal it? It certainly took a very long time for us to get a true straight answer regarding why he didn’t return once medically cleared to do so.

The beef between management and coaching is probably going ignored by the local media and noticed by the national media because there’s two sets of rules involved here; one for local press, and another for the national guys/girls.

We’ll come back to this, but first look at this excerpt from Yahoo!

derrick rose john paxson

NBA analyst for the site Adrian Wojnarowski

Derrick Rose demonstrated the truest antidote for the franchise’s dysfunction. Ball in his hands, blur on the floor, Rose tethers enemies to the common cause of the championship chase.

With so much distrust and downright disdain between the Chicago Bulls front office and coach, the ripples of Rose’s resounding return on Saturday night ought to remind general manager Gar Forman and coach Tom Thibodeau of the stakes of surviving the organization’s power struggle.

Between Forman and Thibodeau the disconnect is deep, but Rose’s reconstructed knee could be a powerful agent of reconciliation. With transcendent talents, there come redemptive powers. No one wants to be ousted with Rose on the roster, because he is one of those once-in-a-lifetime players for executives and coaches.


I love the work of Woj; especially in this piece.

We know there’s tension up at the top of the Chicago Bulls food chain, but no one knew it was to this extent. He’s actually talking about people being ousted. Who in the Chicago media has been brave enough to bring up that idea?

Where are the articles about the potential long term job security issues for Coach Thibs?

Woj can say these things because he’s not dependent on access to the team; like beat guys and local media are. National people may not always have the level of insights possessed by someone who is around the team everyday. However, they do have the freedom to tell the truth without any hesitation; or fear of repercussion.

Brent Musburger famously said in the ESPN 30 for 30 “Pony Exce$$”

“once the local media turns its guns on you, you’re finished.”

Very true, but it also works both ways. If you’re local media, and the team cuts you off over what you wrote, you’re finished. National media don’t have to worry about such concerns.

Hence, they’re more likely to tell is like it is.


So what is behind the Thibodeau vs. Forman Cold War?

What’s being swept under the rug?

Assistant Coach Ron Adams was dismissed this summer despite Thibodeau’s demands that he stay. Forman didn’t like Adams’ disposition and felt that he didn’t toe the company line enough. It’s extremely rare for a NBA front office to come down and cut an assistant. Nine out of ten that’s a Coach’s job. Also, Rose was very close with Adams, so that only intensifies the ill-feelings within the Chicago Bulls organization.

“It is a toxic relationship that I believe will ultimately derail them,” one NBA coaching source with close ties to Thibodeau and Forman warned Wojnarowski.

As one league source told Yahoo Sports, “Ron didn’t drink the Kool-Aid there, and this was a message from Gar to Thibs that he’s running the show, especially on picking the players.”

The Blackhawks aren’t the only team in the United Center looking to execute a power play.

These are situations and quotes that both media covering the Chicago Bulls, and fans of the Chicago Bulls need to pay attention to. Rose claims he’s going to play in the season opener. Maybe, if he’s dominant as he used to be, that would be a panacea for the organization. After all, the Chicago Bulls “Situation Room” has had to do damage control on the D. Rose situation for so long that having their biggest problem/distraction turn into their best advantage could turn things right around.

All parties involved: the Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose, Reggie Rose, Adidas etc. handled that situation about as poorly as one could. And the storyline nauseated all of us.

However, all is forgiven once he steps out on that floor and dominates a NBA regular season game like he used to. Maybe Gar and Thibs will forgive each other as well.

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan and 1620 The Zone, he also writes for Chicago Now. Follow his work on Twitter,  Facebook, and RSS

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  1. m. cunningham says:

    This piece is throwing gasoline on a match flame. When Rose tore his ACL the organization went nuts. Fingers were pointed, and feelings were hurt. That doesn’t mean there’s a rift worth Thibodeau and the Management not coming to a contract agreement. Contracts are negotiated by agents, not coaches. They’ll come to terms in due time. But 1st Thibs has to coach a winning team, and management has to sell a winning ballclub.

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