The Tom Thibodeau era in Chicago is officially over.
The Chicago Bulls announced that they have dismissed the head coach finally making it official. Reports stated that Thibodeau would know his future by Friday and on Thursday the Bulls released the news with a statement.
“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.
“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. 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. Unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture.
“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. Days like today are difficult, but necessary for us to achieve our goals and fulfill our commitments to our fans. I appreciate the contributions that Tom Thibodeau made to the Bulls organization. I have always respected his love of the game and wish him well in the future.”
Thibodeau spent five seasons in Chicago leading the team to the best record in the NBA during the 2010-11 season which included a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals. He also won the NBA’s Coach of the Year award that season. The Bulls made the playoffs in every season Thibodeau was head coach but were plagued by injuries, mainly to Derrick Rose, and couldn’t get to the NBA Finals. Thibodeau’s playoff record stands at 23-28 as the Bulls struggled to reach the NBA Finals.
The Bulls also couldn’t get past LeBron James as they lost to him in the playoffs three out of the last five seasons, including this year in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Tension between Thibodeau and Front Office members Gar Forman and John Paxson had been growing as the two parties certainly didn’t get along. Speculation started to gain steam when reports surfaced that the Bulls were looking to go into a different direction after this season.
Now the Bulls turn their attention to a new coaching search with Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg and Golden State assistant Alvin Gentry rumored to be in the mix.
Forman and Paxson will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. Thursday to announce the firing.