If there wasn’t tension between Chicago Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau and general manager Gar Forman prior to Forman’s decision to not retain Thibodeau’s lead assistant Ron Adams, there certainly is now.
In this video courtesy of the Chicago Tribune, Forman explains his decision to not bring back Adams and also may be indirectly taking a shot at Thibodeau.
In the interview, Forman went out of his way to inform reporters that Thibodeau could certainly recommend assistants for his coaching staff but it is the general manager that makes the final decision.
Forman also suggested that his decision was the best decision for the Bulls going forward.
That does not appear to be the case. Adams was a pivotal assistant on the Bulls’ coaching staff and was depended on heavily by Thibodeau. In addition, Adams also had a close relationship with point guard Derrick Rose.
The decision to part ways with an assistant that is not only close to a head coach that has been a candidate for coach of year in every season he has coached the Bulls but also close with the team’s lone superstar was not one that was made for the best interest of the team.
Forman had an ulterior motive in making this decision. That ulterior motive is that Forman wanted to send a message to Thibodeau that no one is bigger than the team. In the general manager’s perspective, that philosophy includes the head coach.
But look at the top sports franchises, in particular, the San Antonio Spurs and New England Patriots. Perhaps, two of the best Sports’ franchises in the past decade.
With both of those franchises, there was an individual that was bigger than the team. For the Spurs, that individual is head coach Gregg Popovich. For the Patriots, that individual is head coach Bill Belichick.
Both Popovich and Belichick are the decision makers for their respective franchises. That is because they are the ones that truly know the best decisions that need to be made for their respective teams.
Thibodeau is in the same position as those two head coaches.
The hope is that Forman’s unnecessary display of authoritative control over the Bulls’ organization does not strain his relationship with Thibodeau to the point where the two can’t co-exist. John Paxson may need to reign in his puppet before the relationship between Forman and Thibodeau reach that point.