The Bulls and Coach Tom Thibodeau concluded on a 4-year contract extension, the team recounted.
The deal is “very close” to the reported $18 million deal Scott Brooks signed with the Thunder over the summer, a source familiar with the situation claimed. The 4 years are on top of the option year the Chicago Bulls picked up on Thibodeau for the 2012-13 season.
“Clearly, I’m very happy to be here and extremely grateful to (owner) Jerry (Reinsdorf) and to (executive VP) John (Paxson) and (General Manager) Gar (Forman) and certainly all our players and our fans,” Thibodeau said on Monday in the team’s media day. “I love being here; I never doubted it would work out. Here’s where I want to be. Jerry has been great to me from the day I arrived.”
Reports surfaced last season that Thibodeau was sad he did not have an extension secured. Forman stated that talks had begun before last season and would resume after the season.
Forman repeatedly stated that this was the organization’s target to lock up Thibodeau for the long term, even though talks stalled earlier in the summer. But a source declared that talks resumed in early September.
Thibodeau stated that he was not worried about a deal getting done after a conversation he had with Reinsdorf last season.
Bulls star Derrick Rose was pleased to hear the news.
“It’s great, man,” Rose said. “Just to know that we finally got a deal done, he got his deal done. I don’t know if he’s been thinking about it. He hasn’t said anything (to) me. No one has said anything to me about that but you all. I’m just happy that he’s my coach for an x amount of years. He’s a guy that we need around this organization, where he’s pushing everyone in the whole organization to want to be better and try to push this organization to win a championship.”
Thibodeau, who won 100 games faster than any coach in NBA history, was hired two summers ago after serving as an assistant for the Celtics under Doc Rivers. The Bulls have led the league in regular-season wins both years under Thibodeau, who won coach of the year honors in his 1st season and came 2nd last season. NFL betting lines
Thibodeau likely is in for his most challenging season yet in Chicago. Rose will miss much of the season as he gets over knee surgery, and the Bulls’ bench, a major strength last season, has been undergone a massive facelift with 5 new players.
“Clearly I’m glad that we got the contract part done, and I am looking forward to the challenge ahead,” Thibodeau said. “My expectations are always the same and that’s for players to put everything they have into each and every play, to strive for improvement and then to play our best basketball the 2nd part of the season.
“I don’t know where we are going to end up, but I like the makeup of the new fellows, I like the makeup of the guys returning. I don’t need us to skip any steps. The most important thing is to do right things every day and results take care of themselves.”