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Thibodeau keeping up with Doc Rivers during Sterling controversy


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Updated: April 29, 2014 12:20AM

It was clear at the Bulls’ practice Monday that the controversy surrounding Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling isn’t going away anytime soon.

Coach Tom Thibodeau said he continued to text with Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers and reiterated that if there was a coach who was best-equipped to deal with Sterling, it was Rivers. Sterling allegedly made racially charged comments in a recorded conversation.

“And as I said [Sunday], I’m glad that Doc is running that organization,’’ said Thibodeau, who coached with Rivers on the Boston Celtics’ staff. “Because this is a big issue for our whole league. Doc is a great leader with a lot of strength, a lot of composure. He’ll help guide us through it. But it’s very disappointing.

“Hopefully, everyone will be able to get through it. But it’s disappointing. It’s a tough issue to get through for them.’’

Bulls players stayed away from the topic over the weekend, but Taj Gibson, who played at USC, called the situation “crazy’’ on Monday, especially with talk of Magic Johnson possibly taking over the team from Sterling.

“When I was out there in Cali, [Johnson] had his hand in everything,’’ Gibson said. “He’s a great guy. But that would be kind of crazy if he was to own the Clippers. That’s kind of dramatic. You think he’s a Laker forever and now a Clipper? I don’t know.’’

Thoughts on Dr. Jack

Thibodeau spoke glowingly of Hall of Fame coach Jack Ramsay, who died Monday at 89.

“Obviously, a great, great basketball coach, but an even better person,” Thibodeau said. “I can recall when I started coaching, he had written a basketball book that was a basketball bible. Every coach had to read it. It was a must-read. Anytime he was around as a broadcaster, he was just a joy to be around.’’

Around the rim

Backup guard D.J. Augustin said that since he scored 25 points in Game 2, his game has been thrown off by Wizards swingman Trevor Ariza. “It’s big. I mean, he’s 6-7,’’ Augustin said. “He’s long and he’s a good defender, so it’s hard to score on him and even get the ball. I’ve just got to find a way.’’ Augustin is a combined 7-for-25 from the field since Game 2.

Mike Dunleavy (left thumb) practiced and was given the nod to play in Game 5 on Tuesday.


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