ORLANDOIf you expected Tom Thibodeau to be elated about becoming the NBA head coach to reach 100 career victories in the shortest amount of time, you clearly havent been paying attention.
Im just glad we won. When you look at stuff like that, it says that you have good players, he said after the Bulls throttled the Magic Monday night. We have great guys, too. Theyre not only good players, but theyre great people. Im very fortunate to be coaching this team.
However, while Thibodeau downplayed the feat, his players showed their appreciation for the workaholic coachs achievement.
Im glad its him because he works so hard. He really deserves it. Ive never seen anyone work as hard as he does. We all believe in him, so as hard as he works, whenever he comes up with a game plan, we all buy into it because we know how much effort he puts into studying every opponent, said Luol Deng.
It says a lot. He didnt even say anything. No one said anything before the game about it. Most of us didnt even know and its just the type of guy he is. He was just focused about tonights game and thats it.
Echoed Joakim Noah: I know hes going to say it doesnt mean anything, but I think its a great accomplishment. Hes the hardest-working guy Ive ever been around and he deserves it.
John Lucas III, whose father Thibodeau coached under during his long career as an NBA assistant coach, discussed the coachs famed work ethic.
I always say when you put the work n, you put the time in, you can be successful at whatever you do and he puts the work in, the time in and it shows. Look at what hes done in the past two years. Hes a guy who loves the game of basketball and hes still a student of the game of basketball. Hes always learning something, always going into other things to make us better and also make himself better as a coach, so when you have a coach like that, hes going to be successful, said the dimuntive point guard.
Its just who he is. Hes humble. He doesnt expect less. He wants us to play our best and I know he wants to his best when hes out there.
Swingman Ronnie Brewer acknowledged that while it made the record more special because it came on a night when the Bulls set a franchise record for fewest points allowed to an opponent in a regular-season game, that wouldnt matter to the single-minded coach.
He doesnt care. It goes in the record books, but thats not going be in the record books like he wants. He wants to win the championship, I think thats what everyone wants to do and were going to keep working until were playing championship-caliber basketball, he said. If a team gets a bucket at the end, hell come and let us hear it in the locker room, like Yo! You all didnt play 48 minutes! You let them scorethey scored 61, 63 pointshes like, Yo! Youve got to play to the end. We played great D, but thats the kind of coach Thibs is.
Added Carlos Boozer: Toms been great since we all got together last year, putting us in a great system that well continue to improve and get better at, but well-deserving. He puts so much work in with film. You guys see him. He almost looks exhausted every day, just watching film. But hes one of the most detailed people Ive been around and its been a fun ride, but knowing that, at the same time, none of us is satisfied. We want a whole lot more and it starts with him. He wants a whole lot more, too.
Hes not about himself. Hes about the team and that trickles down to everybody, from Coach Thibs to D-Rose, to the rest of us, everybodys about the team. Nobody talks about themselves, really.