Remember when some guy was rumored to be a star in the making on the Celtics? No, it was not Rajon Rondo. In fact, it was a guy that never stepped onto courts except during TV timeouts.
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That unknown man was Tom Thibodeau.
Fast forward to today, five years later, and Tom Thibodeau's reign as Chicago Bulls head coach is over.
Set back by numerous injuries plaguing key players like Joakim Noah and uh, maybe that Derrick Rose guy, Thibs installed a team mentality that allowed "scrubs" to contribute, be it Kirk Hinrich or Nazr Mohammed. He groomed the underdog players like Jimmy Butler, and relied heavily on unsung guys like Luol Deng & Mike Dunleavy.
But what led to his downfall other than the lack of fulfillment of high expectations?
He wanted to win too badly. He pushed his team to the limits, to where players like Noah were ineffective at the most inopportune time. He relied too much on the team, allowing unspectacular players to take too much away from the true studs and leaders.
The team could not be criticized on defense, but the offense lacked a go-to lightning strike to finish, and that is what did in the Bulls.
Yet, at the dawn of another Bulls' coaching era, there are plenty of tall plants to produce a grand future harvest. So long as the Bulls manage to hold onto Butler with a max contract, they will still be able to maintain their core while allowing youngsters in Tony Snell & Doug McDermott to grow.
Sometimes a change of scenery can be a breath of fresh air, and here's to Thibs, to land a job elsewhere where his enthusiasm for winning can drive another team from mediocrity to success. Maybe he'll land in New Orleans, another promising team.