With all that is going on right in Chi-Town these days I seem to wonder…Why are we worried so much about next year? I mean the Bulls are the 4th seed in the Leastern Conference one game in the loss column behind the Toronto Raptors. If the season started today they would have a favorable albeit challenging matchup against the Washington Wizards. I remember reading a comment from one of the Pippen Peoples JVAS1110 @aol.com putting us on blast about a rumor that the Bulls were looking at Lance Stephenson. He was saying and I have to paraphrase because this is a family website that no season should be wasted while players are out playing hard every single night. You know, he is absolutely right (if you skip the language.) This is a disservice to the players that are here now thinking about what is going to happen next year. However, we are media professionals that have to be ahead of the next big story. The one good thing about Pippen Aint Easy is that we keep it real. We dealt with the Carmelo Anthony situation. Now let’s deal with Coach Tom Thibodeau.
Let’s me give you an idea of where all of this is coming from. The office of Chairman James Dolan. The New York Knicks HAVE to find a way to prove to Carmelo Anthony that the Knicks have a plan to build a winner around him so he can get that elusive championship that will cement his legacy in which if you read this, you can add three more clichés to your list of blah, blah, blah. It all has to start with getting a “sexy” selection of a head coach to start this up. According to reports, New York reached out to Phil Jackson aka the “Zen Master” to coach the Knicks. He turned that opportunity down faster than I would a bowl of okra (Believe me I got a lot of spankings over this so you know how bad a situation the Knicks are right now.) As of this writing, the Knicks have offered Jackson a front office job. No decision on that one but stay tuned. (My opinion, he’ll turn that down too.) The reason the Zen Master turned down the job is the same reason you’re not going to see Coach Thibs there next year. The reason…James Dolan.
Let’s get the obvious logistics out-of-the-way. The Bulls still have coach Tom Thibodeau under contract for three more years. It is no secret that Thibodeau and General Manager Gar Forman are not at the top of each other’s Christmas list, or the middle, or the bottom. Look they don’t like each other. This relationship got ugly after Forman would not renew the contract of one of Thibodeau’s assistants and friend Ron Adams. Since then there has been rumors of a breakup at the end of the season. Oh I know what you’re thinking…Ooh, ooh, what about Doc Rivers when he left Boston for L.A.? Uh no, you see the Clippers had something that the Knicks won’t have for the foreseeable future, a first round pick. The one thing I have learned about the Bulls management group is that they are not stupid. You just don’t fall into a billion dollar franchise, ha! ha! you know what? Sike! Jim Buss of the Los Angeles Lakers and James Dolan of the Knicks have fallen into Billion dollar franchises, but you see how both franchises are doing right now. The point is the Knicks would have to ante up big time to get this coach out of his contract then after all of that, take Carlos Boozer’s contract.
One of the reasons Tom Thibodeau is brought up over and over is because he can provide coaching that the Knicks desperately need, defense. The Knicks can’t guard anybody on a consistent basis these days and it is obvious they don’t listen to Mike Woodson with his defensive strategies (if they have one.) How many times do you see this team argue over rotations. Thibodeau would clean that up in a hurry. The other reason Thibodeau keeps getting brought up is that he is represented by the CAA agency who represents basically everyone in the Knicks organization to the guy selling hot dogs outside Madison Square Garden. William Wesley just happens to be one of Coach Thibodeau’s advisers, plus he has major pull within the organization especially with the new president Steve Mills. How much pull does he have? He convinced the Knicks to sign the “Last Boy Scout” J.R. Smith out of China. Ask Rhianna if that was a good signing. Google the tweet she had about Smith during the playoffs last year during the playoffs and when you’re done laughing come back.
Look Tom Thibodeau wouldn’t leave if he had the chance. Here’s why…
Tom Thibodeau loves his team and they love playing for him.
Not many players are going to play for a coach that is as demanding as Tom Thibodeau (That means you too, Carmelo Anthony!) He has set up a culture to run a system with parts that are working perfectly. The players led by Thibodeau’s right hand man Joakim Noah have bought in to what Coach Thibodeau is selling. Do you think J.R. Smith will go one suicide in practice without complaining about running too much? Just sayin?
Coach Thibodeau’s core players are locked in to their contracts.
Derrick Rose? Long term deal. Joakim Noah? Long term deal. Taj Gibson? Long term deal. These guys are not going anywhere. Let’s take a look at New York shall we? Carmelo is opting out and is not a guarantee. Tyson Chandler is opting out and will probably run for his sanity. These are your core players. Do you really think Thibodeau is going to leave a place with some stability for a place with no stability since Jeff Van Gundy left? By the way the Knicks tried to get him back. I saw his broadcast on ESPN last night. He ain’t leaving that booth, trust me.
Coach Thibodeau is not going to listen to James Dolan
Dolan wants to run everything. He wants to control what is done, what is said, the uniforms of the cheerleaders, you get the idea. Tom Thibodeau coaches the way he wants to. Period end of story. Plus with the fact that his system happens to work I’m going to go out on a limb and say that If James Dolan criticizes anything going on under Thibodeau’s watch there will be conflict. If Thibodeau doesn’t get along with Gar Forman who actually has done a good job, how do you think he’ll get along with a known let’s be kind and say “distraction” like James Dolan. Just sayin.