After losing in the Eastern Conference Semis to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls have officially fired Tom Thibodeau.

Chicago Bulls Fire Tom Thibodeau

The entire season, Chicago reporters have told stories of a deteriorated relationship between the head coach and the Chicago front office. Many even boldly claimed that even if he reached the NBA Finals, he would be out the following year.

That is why it was so surprising when the Bulls waited so long to actually fire Thibodeau: many expected him to be out the door as soon as the Cavs series ended. There were even rumors that he would be a prime contender for the New Orleans Pelicans job. But after yesterday’s report that the front office was still mulling over the decision — particularly for financial reasons — they decided to officially pull the trigger today, ending Thibodeau’s tenure with the Eastern Conference team.

“The Chicago Bulls have a history of achieving great success on and off the court,” Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf stated in a press release. “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… When everyone is on the same page, trust develops and teams can grow and succeed together.”


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“Unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture,” Reinsdorf continued. “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 took over the Bulls from the struggling Vinny Del Negro in 2010-11 and proceeded to take them to five straight playoff appearances. However, despite having a fantastic 255-139 (.647) record and the fondness of the players, the Bulls struggled in the postseason with a 23-28 record: after getting to the Eastern Conference Finals in his first year, he failed to get back there in his next four seasons.

To be fair, he also had to deal with the injury prone Derrick Rose, who the Bulls built their entire team around. But as the relationship between the front office and the head coach began to further deteriorate, it was probably best for both parties to go their separate ways.

Again, the Pelicans and Orlando Magic are supposedly interesting in Thibodeau. As for the Bulls, they are looking for their 22nd head coach and it could be Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg, but that is far from guaranteed.

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