The Chicago Bulls have found a successor to their embattled and eventually fired Head Coach Vinny Del Negro. Their new coach, like Vinny before him, assumes the position with absolutely no previous head coaching experience.
However, that doesn’t mean he’s not a good candidate.Watching the NBA Finals just became a lot more interesting for Bulls fans. They may even find themselves rooting for the Boston Celtics this week and next.
By Paul M. Banks
According to the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson
Tom Thibodeau has accepted the Bulls’ 3-year offer to become the team’s 18th head coach in franchise history, according to sources. No formal announcement can be made until the conclusion of the NBA Finals between the Lakers and Thibodeau’s Celtics.
Thibodeau, 50, has served as an assistant with seven teams over 18 NBA
seasons, including his current position as associate head coach with
He is known as a defensive specialist — his teams have finished in the top-10 defensively 15 times.
Thibodeau’s only previous head coaching experience came in 1984, when he spent one season at his alma mater, Salem (Mass.) State, a Division III school. After leaving Salem, he was an assistant coach for four seasons at Harvard before beginning his NBA career.
Interesting analysis from Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie
And considering the options beyond Thibodeau, those with head coaching experience to fall back on, the Boston assistant had to be Chicago’s choice. Mo Cheeks just hasn’t worked as a head man, Eric Mussleman has talent but has also flamed out of a couple of gigs, Lawrence Frank is a sound coach but not the highlight name Chicago needs at this point, and Dwane Casey is a terrific talent with a mindset that the Bulls front office, for whatever reason, did not appreciate.
No, it had to be Thibodeau. And why it took so long for Chicago to swoop in and interview the man that seemed the obvious choice both in 2008 and 2010, seems beyond my comprehension. Word is that Chicago has had Boston’s permission for weeks to speak with the assistant, and yet they didn’t really make a move until Wednesday night, the eve of the biggest coaching game of Thibodeau’s career, to deal with the man.Follow paulmbanks