Kap: Loyalty played major role in Thibodeau's fallout with Bulls


Kap: Loyalty played major role in Thibodeau's fallout with Bulls

A week has passed since the Bulls fired Tom Thibodeau and replaced him with Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg. Much has been made of the relationship between Thibodeau and the Bulls front office, specifically John Paxson and Gar Forman. A relationship that has been strained for a long time and one that was public knowledge well before the 2014-15 season even began.

It takes two sides to make a relationship work and it takes two sides to make a relationship fail. On that account both parties deserve some culpability. However, after dismissing Thibodeau the Bulls took the unusual step of releasing a statement that was highly critical of their former coach and painted him as someone who is extremely tough to get along with in the work environment.

Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has long had a reputation for being great to work for and someone who is extremely loyal to his employees. For him to be as critical as he was in the Bulls press release opened eyes around the NBA and especially here in Chicago. So why did the Bulls take what some feel was an unnecessary shot as they were kicking their highly successful coach to the curb?

[MORE: Tom Thibodeau, on Bulls firing: 'I have no regrets']

After Jeff Van Gundy ripped the Bulls organization during a nationally televised game on Jan. 23 and called into question the lack of support for previous Bulls coaches, the front office was livid. In fact, Reinsdorf felt Thibodeau was exceptionally disloyal because it was one of his closest friends (Van Gundy) doing the ripping and Reinsdorf spoke to Thibodeau about the on air incident demanding that it not happen again.

However, the sniping continued on multiple fronts and for Reinsdorf that was the end. He could put up with the intense coaching, some front office friction, and the lack of support from Thibodeau in some areas of the Bulls organization who felt that the coach was difficult to work with. However, the relationship between Reinsdorf and Thibodeau was now beyond repair. The two men had been reasonably close and Reinsdorf had taken the coach under his wing. Loyalty is the one quality that the owner demands and when he feels it is gone he is done with the relationship. The statement from Reinsdorf that the Bulls released on May 28 spoke volumes about their position on the strained relationship. This part of the press release was especially telling: “While the head of each department of the organization must be free to make final decisions regarding his department, there must be free and open interdepartmental discussion and consideration of everyone's ideas and opinions. These internal discussions must not be considered an invasion of turf, and must remain private.”

The Thibodeau situation was much like Horace Grant who found himself on the outside after meeting with the owner to negotiate a new contract in the early 90’s. After being cautioned by Reinsdorf to make sure Grant wanted to do a new deal without his agent’s approval and agreeing to terms, Grant went back on his word. That ended things with the Bulls and eventually he found his way to Orlando.

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Thibodeau’s perceived disloyalty broke Reinsdorf’s cardinal rule. That combined with the difficult working environment that many inside the organization complained about and the Bulls failure to advance past a beatable Cleveland Cavaliers team made the decision to change coaches a very easy one for Paxson and Forman. The statement that was highly critical of Thibodeau was the owner finally saying he had had enough.

Thibodeau is an outstanding coach and he will work again in the NBA. He compiled a resume of success that no one can argue with. He is one of the winningest coaches in NBA regular season history, he is a tremendous student of the game and he has a tireless work ethic. However, his ability to coach his team was never a point of contention with his bosses. It was the lack of a harmonious relationship with his superiors and the one mistake that Reinsdorf could not overlook, a perceived lack of loyalty to his ultimate boss and to the organization that did him in. Say what you want about the Bulls not taking the high road when they announced his firing but after taking repeated punches from the coach’s supporters the owner finally punched back and his was a knockout blow.

NBA Board of Governors pass new, stricter anti-tampering rules


NBA Board of Governors pass new, stricter anti-tampering rules

After much discussion over whether or not the NBA should impose harsher penalties on teams for breaking the anti-tampering rules, an official decision has been made. The NBA Board of Governors passed a much more strict set of rules that will force teams to be compliant with the anti-tampering rules.

Among the new measures, the league will be selecting five teams per year that will undergo a "random audit", the maximum amount for a fine related to tampering has been raised to $10 million and team officials are required to save communications with agents for one full year.

The league will also retain the right to take the communication devices of owners if it is deemed necessary in investigations, though it has been stated that it is not something that Adam Silver wants to rely on moving forward. 

Though concrete details have not been released, possible punishments for tampering will reportedly include taking away draft picks, the voiding of contracts and more.

This is all in an attempt to create a more "even playing field" amid the belief that small-market teams are at a disadvantage when it comes to player movement. The new rules sound great but there is already fear among NBA GMs when it comes to how their privacy will be affected with this being a clear area of focus for the league. 

Along with the new, harsher tampering penalties, the league also announced that they have changed the language regarding traveling calls to "address the uncertainty around traveling." Another new rule announced was that teams are now required to announce their starting lineups at least 30 minutes before tipoff as opposed to 10 minutes, in an effort to "increase transparency for teams, media and fans." Teams will still be allowed to change their lineups up to the last minute if a player gets hurt in pregame warmups. 

All of the new anti-tampering rules approved by the league on Friday were a response to this wild NBA offseason we just experienced. There were many deals agreed to right at the start of free agency, such as the Bulls with Thaddeus Young, and the timing of those deals had many owners wanting the league to make tampering a greater focus. To a greater extent, moves like Anthony Davis forcing his way to the Lakers and Kawhi Leonard orchestrating he and Paul George's move to the Clippers are what got this package of anti-tampering measures passed.

Adam Silver has picked up a reputation as an NBA Commissioner who is very willing to listen to new ideas and make changes, and Friday's events support that reputation as he and the league continue to look for the best ways to get NBA teams to be in compliance with the anti-tampering rules. 

Is Ryan Arcidiacono trying to become the fourth Jonas Brother?


Is Ryan Arcidiacono trying to become the fourth Jonas Brother?

The Jonas Brothers are in Chicago for concerts that are taking place on Thursday and Friday night, and they have enjoyed quite a week. This week the trio has enjoyed a nice golf outing at Village Links in Glen Ellyn, had some quality BBQ at Bub City and even got the amazing opportunity to play a touch football game at Soldier Field. But one particular Bulls guard is looking to add another fun experience to their Chicago trip.

The Bulls organization welcomed the Jonas Brothers to the city with a set of custom jerseys for the trio and their significant others and that's when Ryan Arcidiacono chimed in with his offer. 

Since the Jonas Brothers have already got to play some football on the actual Soldier Field grass, Arci figured they might as well keep the Chicago sports-themed fun going and shoot some hoops with him. 

Now, Arcidiacono didn't make it clear whether or not he was offering for the Jonas Brother to get some shots up with him at the United Center, where their shows take place on Thursday and Friday night. But, either way, his time is running out as they will be moving on to Jackson County, MO for their next stop on tour on September 21.

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