The Chicago Bulls have officially fired head coach Tom Thibodeau, ending weeks of speculation and years of tension between the head coach and front office.
Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf released the following statement regarding the decision:
“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 interdepartmental discussion 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.”
Thibodeau coached the Bulls for five season and had two seasons remaining on his contract. But a rift between the front office and Thibodeau proved to be too much.
Thibodeau won the 2010-11 NBA Coach of the Year, the same year the Bulls made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Bulls will now look for their 22nd coach in team history. All signs point to Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg being the favorite.