Tom Thibodeau Terminated With Extreme Prejudice

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Tom Thibedeau fired

One has to wonder if the way the Chicago Bulls handled the firing of Tom Thibodeau is indicative of an organization that has lost its way.

Imagine for a moment you go to work one day and your boss calls you into his or her office and tells you that your services are no longer needed. It’s well within the rights of your employer to do so but say as you are walking out, your boss issues a statement dragging your name through the mud - making sure that everyone knows that they consider you a dishonest and undesirable employee.

This sort of public rebuke is generally frowned upon in the professional world.

Essentially what the Bulls did to Thibodeau was fire him, then throw him under the bus on his way out. The Bulls could have taken the classy approach and issue the normal boilerplate language saying, that “we are going a different way” and “thank you for your service,” but they wanted to ensure everyone knew they felt Thibodeau was untrustworthy and difficult to work with.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a new thing for the Chicago Bulls organization: they publicly chastised Horace Grant in 1994 for what Reinsdorf believed was Grant reneging on a handshake deal. Reinsdorf, of course, expected more from Thibodeau than just playoff appearances, he expected championships, and injuries clearly were not enough of an excuse for not advancing further.

The firing came as a surprise to no one; most people knew that anything short of the championship trophy was going to signal the end of the Thibodeau era.

The Bulls organization and management should be very careful what they wish for. It’s very easy to hire a company man, a “yes” man who will tell you exactly what you want to hear, but ultimately the Bulls’ failures have to fall on the players themselves for not performing.

As for the prospective coach looking at a job in Chicago, be forewarned that you just may be entering into a situation where not only are you expected to win right away, but you are by all accounts inheriting a team that has continually underachieved considering the talent on the roster - that coupled with a management more than ready to toss you aside and blackball you on the way out.

It may not be the job you want.