Chicago Bulls center Pau Gasol has thanked former coach Tom Thibodeau after their brief spell together was ended last week with the former being fired.
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Thibodeau was fired after five years in charge of the Bulls, as numerous clashes with the front office and failure on the court this season ultimately led to their parting of ways.
While there is a sense of bitterness between the two parties given the nature of their relationship and the statement issued by Chicago, Gasol has been as gracious as ever and paid tribute to his former coach.
“Coach Thibodeau, (I) want to thank your trust and support this season,” Gasol wrote on his blog as translated by the Chicago Tribune.
“I am sure that his departure was a very difficult decision for the organization of the Bulls, but I am convinced that they have a solid plan for the success of the franchise. We all have high expectations for the coming season and will do anything to bring the ring to Chicago. Go Bulls!”
Gasol averaged 18.5 points per game and was named in the All-Star team last season, and the Spaniard certainly enjoyed a renaissance under Thibodeau in Chicago.
As a result, it comes as no surprise that he is thankful to him for his influence in helping him back to an elite level, although there are naturally areas in his game that are becoming weaknesses which hurt the team as he continues to age.
It is widely expected that Fred Hoiberg will be named the new Bulls coach in the coming weeks, and so it remains to be seen whether or not he uses the former Los Angeles Lakers in the same way and whether or not his influence regresses next season.