In a move that has been speculated over for more than a few seasons, the Chicago Bulls announced (finally) that they have decided to part ways with Coach Tom Thibodeau.
Thibodeau, with a record of 255-139 in five years with the Bulls, made it to five straight NBA Playoffs appearances, including the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011. He also won Coach of the Year that year. Despite a record of 50-32 this season, and injuries to Derek Rose and Joakim Noah, the Bulls have decided to let him go after losing to the Eastern Conference Champions Cleveland Cavaliers in six games.
The following statement was issued by Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf:
“The Chicago Bulls have a history of achieving great success on and off the court. These accomplishments have been possible because of an organizational culture where input from all parts of the organization has been welcomed and valued, there has been a willingness to participate in a free flow of information, and there have been clear and consistent goals. While the head of each department of the organization must be free to make final decisions regarding his department, there must be free and open interdepartmentaldiscussion and consideration of everyone’s ideas and opinions. These internal discussions must not be considered an invasion of turf, and must remain private. Teams that consistently perform at the highest levels are able to come together and be unified across the organization-staff, players, coaches, management and ownership. When everyone is on the same page, trust develops and teams can grow and succeed together. Unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture. To ensure that the Chicago Bulls can continue to grow and succeed, we have decided that a change in the head coaching position is required. Days like today are difficult, but necessary for us to achieve our goals and fulfill our commitments to our fans. I appreciate the contributions that Tom Thibodeau made to the Bulls organization. I have always respected his love of the game and wish him well in the future.”