On Wednesday night it was announced that Steve Kerr, who was expected to take the Knicks coaching job, was instead the new coach of the Golden State Warriors. It was an announcement that came as a surprise, even if it did make sense for Kerr.
It also led to a very easy joke.
As you know, Tom Thibodeau has been “linked” to quite a few coaching jobs this year. There were those Knicks rumors all throughout the regular season, and then once the year ended it was reported that the Lakers were interested in Thibodeau. And then the same Warriors team that ended up hiring Steve Kerr was interested in Thibodeau.
Every damn team in the NBA with an opening at the head coach position is interested in Tom Thibodeau.
And the odds of Thibodeau actually leaving the Bulls to take one of those jobs are low, but the rumors will not go away. The reason for this is because the Bulls, for whatever reason, refuse to squash them.
Gar Forman has mentioned Tom Thibodeau’s contract plenty of times, and how it covers a few more seasons. But he hasn’t said a word since the end of the season when the Lakers said they wanted to contact Thibodeau.
Instead of coming out and saying “he’s not available” the Bulls sit silent.
Then there’s Tom Thibodeau himself, who could easily just say he’s not interested in leaving the Bulls. He hasn’t done so. Instead he sits silent. Not that I blame him, mind you, it doesn’t make as much sense for him to state his lack of interest because it gives him leverage when the time comes for another contract extension.
The kind of leverage Steve Kerr used — thanks to the interest from the Knicks — to get $5 million a year from Golden State even though he’s never coached a game in his life. Tom Thibodeau will make $4.375 million next season. Gregg Popovich, who has won four NBA titles, and could get his fifth this year, makes $6 million a year.
Leverage is a nice thing to have.
On Thursday, with the Knicks job still open, the Bulls brain trust attended the NBA Draft combine. There they were, Thibs, Forman and John Paxson, all sitting there, all able to just say “these rumors are silly, Tom Thibodeau is the coach of the Chicago Bulls.” Those words, or words similar to them, would put an end to a lot of stupidity.
So what did they do?
The Bulls have made it clear that they plan on pursuing Carmelo Anthony this summer. So now that the Knicks still find themselves as an organization in limbo, and look less attractive to Carmelo than they did two days ago — you know Carmelo had to be cool with the idea of Steve Kerr for Phil Jackson to go after him so hard — the Bulls have a chance to make their own situation seem much more desirable.
Instead they choose to look just as stable as the Knicks.
The elephant may be in the room, but he’s not the one shitting all over the floor.
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