Tom Thibodeau Wins Coach of the Year Award

Chicago Bulls coach Tom ThibodeauChicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau has won the NBA Coach of the Year award, according to the Chicago Tribune.  

Capping a wildly successful first year, the Chicago Bulls’ Tom Thibodeau will be named the NBA’s Coach of the Year on Sunday, sources told the Tribune.

A news conference with the Bulls and the NBA is set for 3:30 p.m. at the Berto Center.

Thibodeau guided the Bulls to a league-best 62-20 record after 21 years as an assistant coach, establishing a defensive mindset and relentlessly pursuing the unattainable perfect game.

“I’ve never been around a coach who works as hard and wants to win as much as him,” Derrick Rose said.

Chicago saw a 21 game improvement in the win column under Thibs.  Only two Bulls teams made greater turnarounds:  The 72-win team in 1995-96, which saw a 25 game improvement over the previous year’s record, and the 2004-05 team that made a 24 game swing. The last team to win as many games as this Bulls team was the 1997-98 championship team, which also went 62-20.

Thibodeau was most recently an assistant for the Boston Celtics, where he cemented a long-standing reputation as a defensive guru.  He’d had other head coaching interviews during his tenure with Boston, but nothing materialized before this past summer.  Thibodeau turned down the Nets and Hornets jobs to instead go to Chicago… where things have obviously worked out pretty well.  

Thibodeau is the first Bulls coach since Phil Jackson to win the Coach of the Year award.

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