Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau has a lot in common with recently fired OKC Thunder coach Scott Brooks. Both coaches are strong basketball tacticians who get a lot out of their teams, even when those teams are beset by injuries. (Brooks was so good at OKC that the team felt James Harden was expendable. James Harden.) But this year Brooks had to coach a Thunder team that was often missing league MVP Kevin Durant, MVP candidate Russell Westbrook, and big man Serge Ibaka. Brooks’ Thunder still almost made the playoffs in the fiercely competitive Western Conference. He got fired for it.
Thibodeau is probably next. Thought by many to be the best coach in the league, Thibodeau and Bulls management nevertheless don’t see eye-to-eye on many issues, including how much rest Bulls stars Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah receive. Yet the Bulls are up 3-0 in their first round series and they have a shot at knocking off the vaunted Cleveland Cavaliers in round 2. The irony here? There’s no coach in the world Bulls management would rather have on the sidelines against the Cavaliers. If any coach can muster the type of Bulls performance it’ll take to beat LeBron and company, it’s Thibodeau. Yet even if he wins that series, Thibodeau may be fired just like Brooks. But guess what? Thibodeau will get hired right away somewhere. There happens to be an opening in Oklahoma City. Thibodeau could be the next Scott Brooks twice.