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Tom Thibodeau finishes third in Coach of Year voting

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Updated: April 23, 2014 12:39AM



How much was Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau paying attention to the naming of the NBA’s coach of the year on Tuesday?

‘‘I didn’t see it,’’ Thibodeau said after the Bulls’ morning shootaround.

Whether he did or didn’t, Thibodeau seemingly had very little problem with the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich finishing first with 59 first-place votes, topping the Phoenix Suns’ Jeff Hornacek, who had 37.

‘‘I’m happy for ‘Pop,’ ’’ said Thibodeau, who finished third with 12 first-place votes. ‘‘I think you guys know how I feel about him. He’s an all-time great. To maintain that standard of excellence for as long as he has, it just tells you how great he is. I thought Jeff did a fantastic job, as well. There were a lot of guys I thought that were deserving. It’s great. I’m happy for those guys.’’

And the third-place finisher?

‘‘He’s terrible,’’ Thibodeau said.

While Thibodeau has shown very little concern about postseason awards, especially those that involve the job he has done, he was asked if he eventually would be able to appreciate coaching the Bulls to a 48-victory season despite losing Derrick Rose to an injured right knee and Luol Deng to a trade.

‘‘I don’t really look at it that way,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘To me, I have a great group of guys I work with every day. It was great for Jo [Joakim Noah] to be recognized [Monday as the defensive player of the year].’’

Love for ’Los

Carlos Boozer has been unhappy — and vocal — about sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter of games, but Noah praised him for staying within the framework of team basketball.

‘‘He has dealt with a lot of adversity this year, and he has been pretty vocal about his situation,’’ Noah said. ‘‘But he has been as selfless as they come, being ready for these moments. He could have easily been one of those guys who said, ‘I’m not happy.’ But he didn’t do that. Gotta give ’Los a lot of credit.’’

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @suntimes_hoops



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