The Chicago Bulls have fired head coach Tom Thibodeau who is owed $9M over the final two years remaining on his contract. Tom is a well respected coach with a great basketball mind, but his old school mentality of playing his starters too many minutes is what ultimately did him in.
Rising star Jimmy Butler averaged 38.7 minutes this season which jumped up to 42.2 during the playoffs. Just look at the San Antonio Spurs where no player averaged more than 31.8 minutes this season and even LeBron James, the best player on the planet, only averaged 36.1 minutes. The top two in the MVP voting this year were Stephen Curry who averaged 32.7 minutes and James Harden who averaged 36.8 minutes. The Bulls always seemed gassed, worn out, and the players bodies looked to be failing them after the 82 game season, leaving them nothing left in the tank for the most crucial part of the season, the playoffs. Tom Thibodeau, while being respected as one of the games best coaches, will have to take a long hard look at himself and try to learn from the great Gregg Popovich, who has shown he can change and adapt with the times to stay on top.
Thibodeau should have the pick of any job out there whether it be with the New Orleans Pelicans or perhaps even with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Pelicans would seem to be the leading candidate as Thibodeau would love to coach Anthony Davis as he moves into his prime years. However, the Pelicans’ brass will most likely need to hear from Tom that he won’t be running their budding star, Anthony Davis, into the ground by playing him 38+ minutes every game. This past season Anthony Davis only averaged 36.1 minutes per game. On the other side of the coin, the Chicago Bulls leading candidate to replace Tom Thibodeau is none other than Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg, who played for the Bulls from 1999-2003. Hoiberg is 115-56 at Iowa State which is a .673 winning percentage. Hoiberg was named Big XII Coach of the Year in 2012 and his Cyclones have won back to back Big XII Tournament Championships.