Tom Thibodeau says relationship with Gar Forman is fine
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org July 13, 2013 8:08PM
Derrick Rose poses with coach Tom Thibodeau and general manager Gar Forman after agreeing to a five-year contract extension worth about $94 million in December 2011. | Charles Cherney~AP
NBA Summer League At Las Vegas • Bulls guard Marquis Teague, along with draft picks Tony Snell (No. 20 overall) and Erik Murphy (No. 49) highlight the 13-man roster. • Bulls assistant coach Adrian Griffin will coach the Bulls team.Schedule Saturday: Bulls 81, Grizzlies 67 Monday: vs. Nuggets, 9:30 p.m. Tuesday: vs. Trail Blazers, 7 p.m. (NBA TV) After the preliminary schedule, the Bulls will be seeded in a tournament-style circuit to determine the summer-league champion. Each team is guaranteed to play at least five games. The championship game is July 22.
• Bulls assistant coach Adrian Griffin will coach the Bulls team.Schedule
Saturday: Bulls 81, Grizzlies 67
Monday: vs. Nuggets, 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday: vs. Trail Blazers, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
After the preliminary schedule, the Bulls will be seeded in a tournament-style circuit to determine the summer-league champion. Each team is guaranteed to play at least five games. The championship game is July 22.
Updated: August 15, 2013 7:07AM
LAS VEGAS — Finally, Derrick Rose’s left knee wasn’t the main topic of conversation for Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.
Speaking to the media on Saturday for the first time since lead assistant coach and close friend Ron Adams was let go, Thibodeau did his best to dismiss the idea there’s a rift between him and general manager Gar Forman.
“No, we’re fine,” Thibodeau said before the Bulls played the Memphis Grizzlies in their first NBA Summer League game.
It was convincing enough to quiet the speculation for now, but Thibodeau didn’t sound thrilled by Adams’ removal.
“As I tell our players, I tell everyone, we’re not looking backwards, we’re looking ahead, and we’re getting ready for next season,” Thibodeau said. “That’s all we’re thinking about.”
Asked if he felt good about where he and Forman are, Thibodeau said, “Yeah. We’re getting ready for next season. We want to be a championship-caliber team, and that’s all we’re thinking about.”
Thibodeau also was asked about the perception he wouldn’t make it through the four-year contract extension he signed in October.
“People are going to read into things the way they want to. I’m fine,” he said.
What remains to be seen is where the relationship between coach and general manager goes from here. Thibodeau is loved by his players, starting with Rose. And while Thibodeau has a say in roster decisions, is that say enough for him?
“The thing is, hey, it’s fine,” Thibodeau said when asked if he thought he needed more say. “[Vice president of basketball operations] John [Paxson] and Gar are in charge of putting the roster together. I have a voice, they make the final decision. That’s the way it works.”
Or doesn’t work if there are bigger problems behind the scenes.
Thibodeau seems pleased with the addition of free agent Mike Dunleavy Jr., as well as the outside shooting that was added in the draft with Tony Snell and Erik Murphy.
Most important, Thibodeau and Rose seem to have a strong bond. The front office has to realize that, to keep the franchise player happy, it has to keep the coach who makes him happy.
Rose continued to speak highly of Thibodeau in an interview on the Bulls’ website two weeks ago, and Thibodeau noticed.
“We want a team of leaders, and you want your captains, your best players, to help sell the vision to the team,” Thibodeau said. “So he has to lead by example, he has to do the right things, and as I said, the things he does for our team, you can’t say enough about.”