Posted January 24, 2014

Doc Rivers: Bulls would be ‘nuts’ to let Tom Thibodeau go

NBA
Tom Thibodeau (right) worked under Doc Rivers (left) with the Celtics. (Steve Babineau/Getty Images)

Tom Thibodeau (right) worked under Doc Rivers (left) with the Celtics. (Steve Babineau/Getty Images)

Tom Thibodeau’s future with the Bulls has been in doubt due to reports about his complex relationship with the team’s front office. But Doc Rivers, who had Thibodeau on his staff in Boston for three seasons, said the Bulls would be “nuts” to let Thibodeau go.

“He’s under contract, so yeah,” Rivers told Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com when asked if he expects Thibodeau to remain with the Bulls before the Clippers’ shootaround in Chicago on Friday. “I don’t know why he wouldn’t be. I think it would be nuts not to have him here. He’s the best coach, one of the best coaches in this league. So if you have that, that’s an asset. And I don’t think any right-minded organization would allow that asset to leave. Because with all this adversity they’ve had with injuries, if you allow that one to leave, things will fall apart. And that would be pretty much a guarantee.”

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Thibodeau, the NBA Coach of the Year in 2011, lost Derrick Rose to another season-ending knee injury this past November but has still led the team to nine wins in its last 11 games. Chicago (21-20) is tied with Toronto for the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference.

In four seasons with the Bulls, Thibodeau is 178-93 in the regular season and 16-18 in three postseasons.

“I’m not [surprised],” Rivers said of Thibodeau’s success. “I worked with the guy, it felt like 30 years, but he’s the best. One of my best friends, number one. But he’s the best mind I’ve been around, too. He has a way, he believes in it and he makes his players believe in it, and that’s where Tom and I are very similar. We don’t believe because a guy gets injured, no matter [who] the guy is, that the team should start feeling like they can’t win.

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