Tom Thibodeau

Together again: Derrick Rose reportedly joining up with Tom Thibodeau and the Timberwolves


Together again: Derrick Rose reportedly joining up with Tom Thibodeau and the Timberwolves

Tom Thibodeau really is getting the band back together up in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

According to a Thursday morning report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Derrick Rose will be signing with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the remainder of the season.

Rose has had himself a tough season, playing in just 16 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers while again battling injury woes and apparently considering retiring from the game.

But here he is now, reuniting with Thibodeau, who coached Rose for five seasons with the Bulls and is in his second season coaching the Timberwolves, who currently hold the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference playoff race.

This move will inject even more former-Bull flavor into the Timberwolves, who acquired Jimmy Butler (in a trade with the Bulls) and Taj Gibson last offseason.

Rose averaged 9.8 points and 1.6 assists a game in those 16 contests with the Cavs earlier this season before being traded to the Utah Jazz last month. He was waived two days after that trade. Last season, his first since being traded away from the Bulls, he averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists in 64 games with the New York Knicks.

Jimmy Butler gave the Bulls an ultimatum and they chose Fred Hoiberg over him

Jimmy Butler gave the Bulls an ultimatum and they chose Fred Hoiberg over him

Jimmy Butler pulls no punches when discussing his former team.

The NBA star is enjoying his first year with the Minnesota Timberwolves as "one of the older guys" and recently did an interview with ESPN's Sam Alipour where the two took on a Minnesota lake...and lost.

And of course, there's a shot at the Bulls in there.

Alipour sets up Butler by asking him why he thinks the Bulls got rid of a bonafide star in the middle of his prime.

Butler's response was equal parts elightening and stunning:

"I probably went about a lot of things the wrong way," Butler said. "People don't work as hard as I do and don't expect the same things out of the game that I do. And that's my fault and I've learned from that. I said from the beginning — it was either gonna me or the Fred Hoiberg route. And rightfully so, they took Fred. Good for them. I've got that game marked on my calendar: Feb. 9 baby, I'm back."

Beyond the Bulls smack talk, there's also Butler falling out of a canoe (2:30 mark) and trying to make fire by rubbing two sticks together.

And no revealing interview with Butler would be complete without the two-way player's perception of Tom Thibodeau, especially at the beginning — "Couldn't stand him. I would never use the word hate, but he was right there."

Check out the whole interview. It's a must-watch for Bulls fans.

Underdogs? Not so fast: Reliving the Bulls' dominance over the Raptors


Underdogs? Not so fast: Reliving the Bulls' dominance over the Raptors

Here’s something you’re going to hear quite a bit this season: the Bulls are underdogs tomorrow night. The official start to the rebuild begins as the Bulls travel to Toronto to face the Raptors tomorrow night on NBC Sports Chicago. Pregame Live begins at 6 p.m. with Mark Schanowski, Will Perdue and Kendall Gill.

The Raptors bring back Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and a host of other talent that helped Toronto earn the No. 3 seed in the East last year. They’ll be there this season, so the Bulls open the season with a daunting opponent. But fear not! The Bulls are underdogs, but there’s no opponent they’ve had more success against the last four seasons than the Raptors. The Bulls have won 11 of their last 12 games against Toronto, including 11 straight victories before last season’s late loss in Toronto.

Take a trip down memory lane and see how they did it, and then check back tomorrow night and see if they can get back to their winning ways against Dwane Casey’s group.

1. Feb. 19, 2014 (94-92)

The streak of 11 straight wins begins with an almost-awful collapse. The Bulls lead by as many as nine in the fourth quarter before a frantic comeback from Lowry and DeRozan, who combined for 14 points in a 4-minute span to pull within two points late. But DeRozan can’t close the deal, missing two shots in the final 3 seconds, securing a Bulls win.

2. Nov. 13, 2014 (100-93)

A back-and-forth first half includes five ties and nine lead changes. Then the Bulls decide in the third quarter they don’t care much for see-saws and take over. They close the quarter on a 17-5 run and lead by double-digits until late in the fourth quarter. The Raptors pull within five in the final minute but five Bulls free throws ice the game. Pau Gasol (27), Jimmy Butler (21) and Derrick Rose (20) combine for 68 points.

3. Dec. 22, 2014 (129-120)

Let’s just cut right to the fourth quarter. That’s when the Bulls erupt for a franchise-record 49 points to take the come-from-behind win. Ironically they miss their first three shots of the period. After that? Tom Thibodeau’s group goes 14-for-17 and also makes 16 free throws. Derrick Rose goes 6-for-6 for 15 points in the stanza. Who said Thibs’ offenses don’t score?

4. Mar. 20, 2015 (108-92)

The two teams enter this late-season matchup just one-half game separating them. But the Bulls make a statement, taking the lead late in the first quarter and holding it the rest of the way. Rookie Nikola Mirotic continues to put a bow on his remarkable month of March, scoring 29 points on 11-for-21 shooting and grabbing 11 rebounds. He even blocks a career-high four shots in the win.

5. Mar. 25, 2015 (116-103)

The Bulls continued pulling away in the East standings less than a week later. Mirotic is solid off the bench, scoring 15 points, but it’s reserve Tony Snell who makes the most noise. He erupts for 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting in just 18 minutes, including nine points in a fourth quarter that sees the Bulls outscore the Raptors 39-21 to secure the win.

6. Dec. 28, 2015 (104-97)

The Bulls’ bench continues to star against the Raptors. This time Snell, Bobby Portis and Aaron Brooks combine for 51 of the Bulls’ 104 points. The five starters score 53 points. The trio of Snell/Portis/Brooks shoots 20 for-37 from the field, outscoring the Raptors’ reserves, 51-27.

7. Jan. 3, 2016 (115-113)

Jimmy Butler struggles in the first half, scoring just two points. But the second half is a different story, to say the very, very, very least. Butler scores a franchise-record 40 points after halftime, leading the Bulls all the way back after they trailed by as many as 14 midway through the third quarter. When you play for the Bulls and accomplish a scoring feat that Michael Jordan never did, that’s says something.

8. Feb. 19, 2016 (116-106)

Doug McDermott can't match Butler’s heroics, but he puts together a career night nonetheless. The sharpshooter goes off for 30 points, making 13 of 17 from the field in 31 minutes. Fourteen of those points came in the fourth quarter, his last coming on a 3-pointer after the Raptors had cut the deficit to just three.

9. Mar. 14, 2016 (109-107)

Dwane Casey begins having nightmares of Doug McDermott (probably). That’s because the Creighton legend goes off once again, scoring 29 points on 9-for-11 shooting and somehow getting to the free throw line eight times. The Bulls nearly collapse (just like their first win in the streak), but DeMar DeRozan is blocked by Jimmy Butler in the closing seconds (just like their first loss of the streak).

10. Jan. 7, 2017 (123-118)

Jimmy Butler lives at the free throw line in the only overtime game of the streak. The Bulls, like plenty of these games, make a wild comeback in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Ratpors 33-21 to force the extra period. Butler plays hero with seven points in overtime, and Jerian Grant ices the game with a pair of free throws.

11. Feb. 14, 2017 (104-95)

The Raptors do not ask Doug McDermott to be their valentine. That’s because he once again goes off, scoring a team-high 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting. Jimmy Butler adds 19 (with 15 coming on free throws) and adds 12 assists and five steals in the wire-to-wire victory.