Tanking not in Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau’s playbook
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter December 13, 2013 10:48PM
Updated: December 14, 2013 12:00AM
MILWAUKEE — Coach Tom Thibodeau and tanking just don’t go together.
He made that clear Friday.
“We’re going to play to win,’’ Thibodeau said. “I think once you start doing those other things, you’re headed down a slippery slope. Everyone talks about the great player, but what happens to the franchises that don’t get the great player? If you look at history, it’s not good.’’
Thibodeau attended the 2013 Champions Classic last month at the United Center and watched Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Andrew Wiggins.
“There is some very good talent,’’ Thibodeau said of the upcoming draft class. “Hey, look, the lottery, there’s a lot of luck involved. That’s how we got Derrick [Rose]. Oftentimes, you might have the second pick, and he may not be that type of player. So whatever the circumstances are, I think it’s important not to skip any steps. You do the best you can, try to win now, and whatever the circumstances are in the end, you deal with it then.’’
Point guard D.J. Augustin officially signed Friday and made his debut against the Bucks. He didn’t score and went 0-for-3 from the field.
Thibodeau is hoping this will be a new beginning for Augustin, who could provide some much-needed outside shooting.
“You look at the guys we’ve had in the past that have filled that role — C.J. Watson, John Lucas, Nate [Robinson] — they were all guys that could effectively play in a pick-and-roll, and I think D.J. can do that,’’ Thibodeau said. “The three is something we want to try to get back to, and I think he can provide that.’’