Tom Thibodeau: '90 percent' of time in Chicago was great

Tom Thibodeau: '90 percent' of time in Chicago was great

Although just four players remain from Tom Thibodeau’s last season in Chicago, his first trip back as a coach who’ll be on the opposite sideline brings about some feelings of nostalgia, even though he wouldn’t be confused as some sentimental sap.

“Yeah, like when you come back you look at the building, you look at the time that you spent here,” Thibodeau said after his Minnesota Timberwolves finished shootaround at the United Center Tuesday morning. “Obviously you build a lot of relationships over that time. And I know what a great organization, the history, the tradition, being part of it. It was a great run for me. It was a great experience. You think about the players, the organization, the arena, all the people you see, the fans, the city itself, when I look back it was unbelievable.”

Saying “90 percent” of his time in Chicago was great, Thibodeau was classy in discussing his former employers.

“When I look back, you can focus on the 10 or 15 percent that didn't end up going the way you would like, but there were a lot of good times,” Thibodeau said. “And overall, the organization treated me great. I have no regret.”

In a way, he can’t even escape the specter of Chicago. He spent his season-long sabbatical last year as a Chicago resident, often being spotted around town through the year and living in Minneapolis currently is a place he calls “a smaller Chicago”.

“I was there at the start of my career. It’s a great city,” Thibodeau said. “There’s a lot going on. Great sports town, behind their teams. It’s a lot different than it was 25 years ago. Downtown is great. I’m enjoying it.”

Taking over as president of basketball operations along with assuming the title of head coach this summer—as one would think he coveted the former due to his acrimonious relationship with Gar Forman and John Paxson—he reiterated again he has no hard feelings toward either, or Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

Many will remember Reinsdorf issued a strong public statement from the team when the Bulls fired Thibodeau after their second-round playoff loss to the Cavaliers in 2015.

“I don't have a problem with those guys. I really don't,” Thibodeau said. “They have a job to do, I had a job to do. Unfortunately, we had some injuries along the way, and so it didn't end up maybe the way we all would have liked, but I don't have any problem with those guys.”

[SHOP: Get your Bulls gear right here]

As for Reinsdorf, with whom he shared a close relationship, Thibodeau said he hoped to run into the Bulls chairman at the Hall of Fame but didn’t get a chance to.

“Jerry was great to me. I've got great respect for him,” Thibodeau said. “I spoke to Michael (Bulls President and COO). But at some point, I'll sit down with Jerry.”

He called his first season, the 2010-11 campaign that saw the Bulls claim the number one seed with Derrick Rose winning MVP and Thibodeau himself winning Coach of the Year as his best.

“When I look back, I think that start the first year was such a remarkable year,” Thibodeau said. “And it was all the guys. The team was such a deep team, and for Derrick to have that kind of season, and then Joakim (Noah) growing, Luol (Deng) growing, Taj (Gibson), Kyle Korver, (Omer) Asik...It was an unbelievable group of guys. I had great fortune to be coaching those guys. And the organization, they gave me an opportunity. I'll always be grateful for that.”

He’ll get a hero’s welcome when introduced to the United Center crowd but he knows the warm feelings from at least one of his former Bulls players will dissipate at tip-off.

The player is the one he spent the most time with over the summer with USA basketball, the player he desperately tried to acquire on draft night, Jimmy Butler.

“I know when that ball goes up tonight, he’ll be trying to kill me and we’ll be trying to kill him,” Thibodeau said.

Butler was one of the players who developed the most under Thibodeau’s unrelenting style, qualities he believes he has in the young players he inherited on the Timberwolves’ roster like Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine.

“I don’t think any of us could’ve said that we thought he would be who he is today but we knew he would be good,” Thibodeau said. “We knew he would be a good rotation player. We knew that he was smart and tough and driven. And those guys always get better. And it’s his dedication and commitment.”

'Rodman: For Better or Worse' 30 for 30 will debut on September 10


'Rodman: For Better or Worse' 30 for 30 will debut on September 10

On Friday ESPN revealed that the next film in their award-winning 30 for 30 series will focus on the life of former Bull and Hall of Fame forward Dennis Rodman. 

The film—which is titled "Rodman: For Better or Worse" will detail Rodman's journey to becoming a Hall of Famer and five-time NBA Champion. The documentary will detail Rodman's difficult upbringing in Dallas, his dominant run at Southeastern Oklahoma State and his development into one of the greatest rebounders in NBA history. 

While Rodman is no doubt one of the greatest talents in NBA history, he is just as famous for his intriguing and oftentimes shocking off the court exploits. Rodman: For Better or Worse will discuss Rodman diving into international diplomacy issues and all of the deeper reasons behind him becoming the interesting character that we know him as today. 

The documentary will feature interviews from former teammates and coaches of Rodman's, including Bill Laimbeer,  John Salley, Isiah Thomas, Michael Jordan, and Phil Jackson. 

Rodman: For Better or Worse will be directed by Todd Kapostasy. 

Kapostasy is a seven-time Emmy Award winner. He wrote and directed 2016 documentary 'Confessions of a Cubs Fan: A Century of Waiting', which focused on the idea that winning isn't everything in sports amid the backdrop of the Cubs winning the 2016 World Series.

“Rodman: For Better or Worse” released on September 10, at 8 p.m. CT

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.


Coby White becomes first rookie in NBA history to understand his NBA2K rating

NBA 2K20

Coby White becomes first rookie in NBA history to understand his NBA2K rating

It's that time of the year when every fan and player loses their mind over arbitray video game ratings that mean nothing.

That is, unless you're Coby White.

The rookie found out his rating for NBA 2K20 in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday and, much to the delight of this author, was pleased with his 76 rating.

"It's solid," White told Ronnie 2K. "Everybody be wanting their grade to be higher than what it is but I haven't played a game in the league yet so I understand why it's a 76. But I feel like after the season it'll be higher."

White said he hopes he can get his rating up to at least an 80 by the end of the season. Bulls fans would be pleased with that development, too.

White also said he was happy with his likeness in the game, which you can check out below.