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Thibodeau announced as Bulls coach 06.23.10 at 12:36 pm ET
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Tom Thibodeau officially became coach of the Bulls on Wednesday. (AP)

Tom Thibodeau officially became coach of the Bulls on Wednesday. (AP)

On Wednesday, the Chicago Bulls announced Tom Thibodeau as their new head coach.

“I am very excited to be here and to join the Bulls organization. Chicago is a great city with great fans and a storied history,” Thibodeau said. “I would like to thank Jerry Reinsdorf and [general manager] Gar Forman for presenting me with such a terrific opportunity. We have a talented team with a good nucleus of players, and I am eager to get started.”

Thibodeau served as an assistant coach for the Celtics from 2007-10. He had been drawing interest for head coaching positions since helping lead the C’s to the 2008 championship as an assistant coach. The Celtics repeatedly have credited his emphasis on defense as a key to their success.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Tom Thibodeau as our new head coach,” Forman said. “As I went through the process to search for the next head coach of the Chicago Bulls, the longer the process went it became apparent that Tom was a perfect fit for the Bulls. He is a great communicator and teacher of the game, and he fits our organizational philosophy from a defensive standpoint. With his experience and knowledge of the NBA, I am confident he will be a great leader for our team.”

The Celtics will look to replace Thibodeau on the sideline this summer.

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Reports: Thibodeau to coach Bulls 06.05.10 at 6:02 pm ET
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EL SEGUNDO — Both the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times are reporting that Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau has agreed to a three-year deal to coach the Chicago Bulls next season.

Doc Rivers wouldn’t confirm the reports at practice Saturday.

“I hope it’s true,” Rivers said. “But we’re not going to comment on it, I can tell you that. We’re focused on the NBA finals. It’s the Lakers and the Celtics and that’s what we’re going to keep the focus on. But on Tom, he deserves the job. I think he’s the best candidate out there. Let’s hope it’s true, but we’re going to leave it at that.”

Rivers did say that Thibodeau’s future won’t have an impact on whether he returns next season to the Celtics.

“No, Thibs and I are very close, but that won’t have an impact,” Rivers said. “I want all of my coaches to get jobs. Kevin Eastman and Armond [Hill], those guys are gems. But that won’t have an impact. Honestly, I haven’t thought enough about it.”

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Report: Hornets give Thibodeau more time to decide 06.04.10 at 7:20 am ET
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According to an ESPN report, the New Orleans Hornets decided to give Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau at least one more day to accept their offer to be their head coach. The report says the Hornets offered Thibodeau the position last week, but Thibodeau did not accept by Thursday’s deadline, one day after he interviewed with the Chicago Bulls. Thibodeau also reportedly interviewed with the New Jersey Nets earlier in the week. New Orleans is said to be ready to offer its job to Trail Blazers assistant Monty Williams if Thibodeau does not commit soon.

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, Hornets, Tom Thibodeau
Report: Thibodeau in running for Bulls job 05.31.10 at 8:55 am ET
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Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau seems destined to land one of the NBA head coaching jobs for next season. (AP)

Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau seems destined to land one of the NBA head coaching jobs for next season. (AP)

Reports last week indicated that the Hornets were ready to offer their head coaching job to Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau, and a story by Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo!Sports late Sunday night says the team has begun contract discussions with Thibodeau’s representatives at Creative Artists Agency. However, a story out of Illinois’ Daily Herald Monday morning notes that the Bulls have interest in him as well, and multiple reports say that Thibodeau plans to remain in discussions for the Nets job.

Daily Herald reporter Mike McGraw writes that Thibodeau and former Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks are the favorites in Chicago. But the story indicates that Lakers assistant Brian Shaw (a former Celtic) now is being pushed by LeBron James associate William Wesley, who previously was campaigning for John Calipari. The rumor is that James would be interested in playing the triangle offense made popular by Phil Jackson, and Shaw has spent five seasons alongside Jackson learning the intricacies of the offense.

A side note: Creative Artists Agency, with whom Thibodeau recently signed, also represents James and fellow high-profile free agents Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

The Yahoo!Sports report notes that Thibodeau risks losing out on the Hornets job if he decides to wait on the Bulls and/or Nets. Trail Blazers assistant Monty Williams reportedly is the Hornets’ second choice, with some players, including star guard Chris Paul, said to prefer Williams.

Read More: Bulls, Celtics, Hornets, LeBron James
Doc: No formal Hornets offer for Thibodeau 05.27.10 at 6:08 pm ET
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Doc Rivers said on a conference call Thursday that the New Orleans Hornets have not made assistant coach Tom Thibodeau an offer to become their next head coach. “No, not yet,” Rivers said. “I’m hoping they do soon. He deserves it. I haven’t heard much. Thibs and I do talk about it. So we’re just hoping.”

As a follow-up, Rivers was asked if this was a distraction. “I’m not worried about it,” Rivers said. “There’s nobody that’s going to work harder than Tom Thibodeau. Ever. He will never be a distraction. That’s the one guy I have no concern with. I’m not worried about it all.”

Thibodeau has been one of the hottest names in coaching with several teams, including Charlotte, New Jersey and Chicago all said to be interested in him for a head coaching job. The Hornets had seemed to jump to the head of the line with several outlets reporting that they had made him an offer, although Hornets general manager Jeff Bower denied it.

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Report: Hornets make formal offer to Thibodeau 05.25.10 at 10:53 pm ET
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ESPN.com’s Marc Stein has reported the New Orleans Hornets have made a formal offer to Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau for their head coaching position. But with the Celtics in the midst of the Eastern Conference Finals, a timetable for Thibodeau’s decision was unknown.

Thibodeau has been credited for the Celtics defensive success, which is holding opponents to just 90.4 points this postseason. The Hornets allowed nearly 103 points per game during the regular season, tied for 21st in the league. The C’s, on the other hand, were tied for fifth with 95.6 points allowed during the regular season.

According to the report, the Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets are still considering Thibodeau for their head coaching vacancies as well.

Read More: Boston Celtics, New Orleans Hornets, Tom Thibodeau,
In praise of Thibs 05.12.10 at 4:44 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Associate coach Tom Thibodeau has already been mentioned in connection with a number of head coaching jobs this season, and if his resume needed any more polishing he can point to the work his defense has done against the Cavaliers in this series.

If you throw out Game 3 when the Cavs shot almost 60 percent and scored 124 points, they have averaged just 90.5 points and shot less than 43 percent from the floor. Even with Game 3 in the mix, they have shot just 27 percent from 3-point range.

Much of the focus, as always, has been on LeBron James, but the Celtics team defense has been stellar (again, aside from Game 3), and much of that credit goes to Thibodeau and the plan he has in place.

“He’s terrific,” Doc Rivers said Wednesday after the team conducted a short practice. “He’s the best defensive coach I think in the league. I don’t know if there’s a better one and our guys buy into it. I think that’s very important. If they don’t buy into what you’re doing, it’s not going to work. We have a group of guys who are willing to buy in to what we want them to do, to what Thibs wants them to do, and that’s why it works.”

Paul Pierce has been in the crosshairs thanks to his matchup with James, but he has been quick to deflect praise back to his teammates. The Celtics have a solid gameplan for James: Try to make him take jump shots, keep him out of the paint whenever possible and don’t allow layups. The initial onus is on Pierce, of course, but he knows he has help waiting for him in the paint.

The other issue with a player like James is with all that focus and attention, his teammates can get open, but the Celtics have done a superb job of shutting down his complimentary players.

Antawn Jamison has averaged 13.2 points, and has been held under 20 points in every game except for Game 3. Mo Williams has also struggled, shooting just 39 percent from the floor and 3-for-15 from 3-point range. Anthony Parker has shot the ball well, but he’s simply not a threat like Jamison and and Williams.

The Celtics have a solid plan in place and the players are executing. That’s not an accident. Thibodeau is known as a grinder. A coach who puts in long hours of work and preparation. That kind of work should be appreciated without fail, but that’s not always the case in this league.

The Celtics, however, are firmly are on board with what Thibodeau preaches and it starts with Kevin Garnett.

“He needs the support of his head coach, one, and then it’s the best player,” Rivers said. “If the best player buys in, everyone follows. Tim Duncan bought in to Pop and [Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer] and they all followed. It’s the same here. Kevin bought in on Day One. And what choice do you have? You have to follow.”

If Thibodeau does finally break through and get a head coaching job, the Celtics will have a large hole to fill. But for now they are more than happy that he is on their side.

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