Oct 29, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau arrives prior to a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Thibodeau-Forman Feud May Threaten Chicago Bulls Future

Rumors have been circulating around the Chicago Bulls that there has been a rift in the relationship between Tom Thibodeau and Gar Forman. They started after Forman fired Thibodeau’s assistant and confidant Ron Adams. Last season, there were reports that the New York Knicks were interested in getting Thibodeau. At the time, Thibodeau dismissed those reports as ridiculous. Forman is said to be frustrated with Thibodeau not using a larger rotation during the season. He sees the success of the regular season not translating to the playoffs. Like many in Chicago, he feels the players are being overused, and by the time the playoffs come, they are too exhausted or injured to perform. Thibodeau has been frustrated with the way Forman tries to show everyone that he (Forman) is the boss. Adams was defiant to Forman’s ways, and Forman showed him the door. Thibodeau is also upset that Forman at times has gone away from the united front that he wants to present. Forman has complained about some coaching decisions, and while Thibodeau understands that the general manager can have his opinions, any disagreements should be handled behind the scenes. The rumors of a problem between the two have persisted. After the Bulls were eliminated, reports were that the Los Angeles Lakers were going to request permission to speak to Thibodeau. The Lakers have not officially asked for permission to speak to Thibodeau yet, but whatever dust that came up could have been settled by Forman just saying that Thibodeau is under contract and he won’t go anywhere. The reportedly “toxic” relationship between the two men was on full display on Thursday at the NBA Combine. Thibodeau and Forman were seated just a few seats away from each other. Bulls’ front office personnel such as Vice President John Paxson and Assistant GM Randy Brown and others filled the seats between the two combatants. Thibodeau and Forman spoke to whoever came by, but they never even took a glance at each other. Perception is reality. While some say that there is no rift in Chicago, what happened on Thursday spoke volumes. The Bulls are at a crossroads right now. They are reportedly on the hunt for Carmelo Anthony. Also, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported on Sunday that the Bulls are one of the teams that Kevin Love would be interested in. Derrick Rose is coming back (again) next season, and it appears he still doesn’t have a scorer to help him out. If NBA stars get the idea that there is chaos in the front office, the Bulls will have a lot of trouble getting that help. Many consider the Bulls to be on the cusp of being real contenders. If this situation blows up, things will go downhill in a hurry and turn the Bulls into a laughingstock.

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Tags: Chicago Bulls Gar Forman Tom Thibodeau

  • Julie CzerwinWeaver

    I have to agree, these two knew eyes were on them at the Berto Center. They let us know the tension. My question, does Thibs go or does Foreman? You have to give the coach the necessities to win the game. Work it out or Chicago won’t get a superstar if they think Thibs is gone. Bulls should of shown Thibs respect and went out and said he wasn’t going anywhere. It would look “odd” to see Thibs stomping and yelling at another Center/team

  • bobportcharlotte

    Foreman needs to go ASAP. The Bulls can easily survive with his being gone. The same cannot be said if the best coach in the NBA leaves! I think this because no one has done so much with so little as Coach Thibodeau

    • Carlos

      I agree that if there is a choice between Thibs and Forman, Forman would have to go. Thibs got Nate Robinson to play defense!

      • bobportcharlotte

        Carlos, that comment you made about Nate Robinson speaks volumes about Thibs. Good one!

    • ricefield

      Agree with you Big Bob. The last time the Bulls had a GM/Coach riff management went with the GM. Phil Jackson went on to win 5 championships with the Lakers and Krause got us Eddie Curry, Tyson Chandler, Marcus Fizer, and a lot of lottery picks. Jerry R needs to step up and get rid of Foreman. There are more good GMs than there are good coaches.

      • bobportcharlotte

        You are right on Ricefield. Now if Jerry R would only listen to us. But since he allowed the greatest NBA team to be disbanded under Krause it is extremely doubtful that he will! Speaking for myself, if the Bulls allow Thibs to leave I will lose all interest in them since they will simply sink back into another sea of mediocrity.