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Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls fire Tom Thibodeau

During his tenure with the Chicago Bulls, Tom Thibodeau’s teams were known to be some of the best defensive teams in the NBA.

Teams that played Thibodeau’s Bulls knew they in for a rough and tumble game.

Thibodeau won Coach of the Year for the 2010 season. His Bulls won a couple of division championships and had some memorable playoff runs.

The problem with Thibodeau as coach is that there were no Finals wins with him. While his Bulls were a defensive powerhouse, they were usually in the bottom in most offensive categories.

What was more troubling with Thibodeau was his stubbornness. He felt he had all the answers and did not want any input from the front office, notably John Paxson and Gar Forman.

There was a sense that Thibodeau was overworking his players. His favorite player was Luol Deng.

Deng was usually among the league leaders in minutes, and when he was finally traded in 2013, word around the league was that he was run into the ground by Thibodeau.

Of course, we can’t forget how Thibodeau kept Derrick Rose late in the opening game of the 2012 playoffs, even though the Bulls had a double-digit lead with about a minute remaining. Rose tore his ACL, and has had a series of injuries ever since, and has not been the same.

Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson are two other players who have logged in a ton of minutes and now are experiencing a variety of injuries.

Thibodeau also refused to play rookies, even those with a great deal of experience. Jimmy Butler had to sit for most of his rookie season. Doug McDermott, who the Bulls traded two draft picks to move up to get him, was buried in the bench. Even Nikola Mirotic, who played in Europe since he was seventeen, and was one of the best players there, received inconsistent minutes, even though he shined when given good time on the court.

Because of his refusal to take some advice from the front office, Thibodeau’s relationship with Paxson, Forman and owner Jerry Reindsdorf  deteriorated to the point that Thibodeau did not even speak to them.

After a disappointing loss to LeBron James (again) and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Bulls felt they had enough of Thibodeau. They fired him, and a new era in Chicago sports and Bulls basketball was ushered in.

Next: The Bulls Bring In A Familiar Face