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updated: 6/11/2013 5:40 AM

Thibs 'very excited' about assisting U.S. national team

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  • Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau gestures during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal against the Miami Heat, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, in Miami.

      Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau gestures during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal against the Miami Heat, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, in Miami.
    Associated Press

 
 

Tom Thibodeau will put his work ethic to use for America.

The Bulls head coach was named one of three assistants Monday for the U.S. national team. Thibodeau will help Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke at the 2014 FIBA World Championships in Spain and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

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"I've thought it through and I think I can handle it," Thibodeau said Monday, according to csnchicago.com. "Looking forward to it. I had the opportunity with Derrick (Rose), when I was first hired, to go out and observe, and I thought it was very beneficial to (him). I liked how everything was organized, so I'm very excited about it."

Thibodeau joins Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim and New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams on the new staff. Boeheim has worked with Krzyzewski before on Team USA, while the other two will replace Mike D'Antonio and Nate McMillan.

Krzyzewski talked about Thibodeau's addition in a statement released by USA Basketball:

"To have Tom Thibodeau join us, I think his reputation speaks for itself. He was a great assistant who has become an outstanding pro coach, and nobody wants to play the Bulls.

"The toughness that they show, their togetherness, their competitiveness, and the preparation that is there, that is shown by he and his staff. I think he is one of the best defensive coaches, his defensive game plans are incredible, and so I'm really looking forward to working with him."

This will be Thibodeau's first national team assignment and he'll start work at a Team USA minicamp in Las Vegas from July 22-25.

"It's truly an honor," Thibodeau added. "I've been talking to Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski, two Hall of Fame guys, and to have the opportunity to represent our country in the Olympics in 2016, I'm thrilled. Very excited about it, looking forward to working with all the great coaches, Derrick and the rest of the great players."

Rose played for Team USA and won a gold medal at the 2010 World Championships in Turkey. He'll probably skip the 2014 event, since he's coming off ACL surgery, but he should be a strong candidate for the 2016 Olympic team.

Bulls forward Taj Gibson has been a past participant on the U.S. Select team, which scrimmages against the national squad at training camp. Jimmy Butler has been rumored as a possible addition, though this year's select team has yet to be announced.

Thibodeau spoke at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Bulls' new 60,000-square foot practice facility, which is expected to replace the Berto Center by the start of the 2014-15 season.

Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf told reporters his original plan was to build a bigger practice facility in the Deerfield area, where the Berto Center sits, but was talked into the city location by Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The new building will be located on the Chicago's West Side, in the former parking lot J, next to the United Center.

mmcgraw@dailyherlad.com

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