At least three Chicago Bulls starters insisted that they would be disappointed if Tom Thibodeau was still coach next season at their exit interviews, according to reports.
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Thibodeau was finally fired by the organisation on Thursday after months of speculation that he was set for the axe due to on-going troubles with the front office and failure on the court this season.
It has been a bitter break up between the two parties, and even Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf’s press release confirming the news aimed a sideswipe at the former coach for departing from the franchise’s culture with his controlling nature.
Coupled with the Bulls falling in the Eastern Conference semi-finals this year to an injury-plagued Cleveland Cavaliers team, it has now been reported that Thibodeau didn’t have the support of certain players on his team.
“Bull sources: At least three starters ripped Thibs in exit interview, said they’d avoid team facility this summer if he were still there,” Dan Bernstein of CBSChicago.com reports.
While this may be true, there are those that believe that this is the work of the Bulls front office who are continuing their efforts to belittle their former coach in what has been a petty parting of ways.
John Paxson noted during Thursday’s press conference that ultimately if the Bulls were still competing for a championship this season then they wouldn’t be having this conversation, which gave the impression that it was merely down to a failure to live up to expectations.
However, the issues ran much deeper than that and it is widely accepted that a new coach was necessary for Chicago as ultimately despite his successful tenure, it had run its course for Thibodeau and the team needed to evolve with a fresh start under a new man in charge.