With the 121-115 win over the Sacramento Kings, the Bulls (24-7) clinched the best record in the Eastern Conference which earned Coach Tom Thibodeau and his staff the coaching duties for the East in the All-Star Game in Orlando on Feb. 26.
The NBAs reigning Coach of the Year is never one to accept individual accolades without deflecting the attention onto what help garner the recognition.
Its more a testament and a byproduct of what the team has done, said Thibodeau. Anytime when you can participate in something like that, its good. Its an honor and Ill look forward to it.
Thibodeau was only concerned with the teams practice on Wednesday afternoon in preparation for their game against the visiting Boston Celtics on Thursdaybut the players were happy to see him receive the honor.
Thibs is a grinder, Kyle Korver told CSNChicago. He watches so much film, he studies the game so hard. We go through plays that Im not sure the other team knows how to run. I think we run the teams plays better. He has such a passion for the game and hes a stickler to detail. Theres never any grey area. He always knows the answer, right away, to what he wants you to do and thats what you want from your leader.
Its an honor for him, continued Korver. The whole coaching staff works incredibly hard. I dont think Ive ever been around a harder working coach in my life. I dont think theres a coach that gets his team more prepared and goes over more details than we go over every single night. Its a great honor for him and were very happy for him.
The players left in the locker room, still fielding questions from reporters stopped mid-interviews and congratulated Thibodeau as he entered the room and made his way to the training room.
With his hardworking, tough-nosed coaching style, many of the players joked at how he would handle the experience of coaching a meaningless exhibition game were the emphasis on defense is lacking the usual Thibodeau approach along with other concerns.
I just hope they dont have to do defensive slides and closeouts during the All-Star Game but I hope he takes it easy on those guys, said Joakim Noah.
Added Korver: I just hope he doesnt play LuLuol Deng and Derrick Rose 40 minutes