Derrick Rose happy for Tom Thibodeau
BY ADAM L. JAHNS email@example.com October 1, 2012 9:06PM
Updated: November 3, 2012 6:22AM
To get a sense of how pleased the Bulls were that coach Tom Thibodeau received a four-year extension, you only needed to see Derrick Rose’s initial reaction.
“Whaaaaaat?” a beaming Rose said when informed of Thibodeau’s new deal Monday at the Berto Center. “It’s great just to know he finally got a deal done.
“I’m just happy that he’s my coach for X amount of years. He’s a guy we need around this organization, where he’s pushing everyone in the entire organization to want to be better and trying to push this organization to win a championship.”
Thibodeau, the 2010-11 NBA coach of the year, led the Bulls to the best regular-season record the last two seasons.
His extension was a no-brainer. It was just a matter of whether his contract status would become a distraction during the regular season.
That problem has been averted.
Thibodeau is signed through the 2016-17 season after the Bulls picked up his option for 2012-13. According to Yahoo! Sports, his deal is worth $17.5 million but could reach $20 million with bonuses.
“I love being here,” said Thibodeau, who became the fastest coach to 100 wins last season. “I [always knew it would] work out.”
Thibodeau’s main challenge is continuing to win with Rose recovering from a torn left ACL. But Thibodeau’s players — forward Luol Deng said he has played the best basketball of his career under him — and general manager definitely believe in him.
“He builds strong relationships with our players, and through those relationships, there’s a trust level,” GM Gar Forman said. “You can see that in how our guys respond to him.”
Deng doing fine
When it came down to it, Deng said he bypassed surgery for the torn ligament in his left wrist to play in the Olympics because he’s at the point in his career “where I want to play every game.”
His wrist feels much better with training camp set to begin Tuesday than it did before the Olympics.
“It’s a lot different,” Deng said. “If it was the same as last year, I would’ve gone ahead and done the surgery. It just kept improving.
‘‘During the Olympics, it was a lot better than it was at the end of the year.
‘‘The strength has definitely increased. I can do a lot more things now than I was able to do.”
Going to Gibson’s
After an offseason full of roster changes, Forman said it’s his goal to sign forward Taj Gibson to a long-term extension.
“Obviously, we value Taj very much,” Forman said. “We see Taj as a core piece, not only this year but for the future.”
Thibodeau said center Joakim Noah is ready for training camp after spraining his left ankle in the playoffs.
He said Noah “was pretty much 100 percent” by the end of July.
◆ The Bulls finalized their training-camp roster by signing free agents Ryan Allen, Vance Cooksey, Andre Emmett, Kyrylo Fesenko and Marko Jaric.