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posted: 10/15/2013 10:25 PM

Thibodeau studied Bulls championship teams

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Here's one answer to the often-asked question: What does basketball junkie Tom Thibodeau do in his spare time?

One thing he is does is study basketball history. Specifically, the six Bulls championship teams.

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Thibodeau brought up the topic Tuesday at the Berto Center while discussing the importance of mental toughness to a successful NBA season.

"I've studied the Jordan teams. No one had more mental toughness than Michael," Thibodeau said. "That's what it takes to win. Sometimes I think to those viewing from the outside, it's incomprehensible as to how much goes into it. You look and say, 'Geez, that's a lot.'

"Yeah, well it takes a lot to win it."

Thibodeau's source material included watching game tapes, talking to participants and his own recollections of the Bulls' glory days.

"I had a perspective from sitting on the opposing bench, so ," Thibodeau said. "It's good just to study it, too. When you analyze the things they went through -- the hurdle of getting past Detroit, what went into that.

"The thing that probably stands out the most is not only Jordan's talent but his drive, his mental toughness, his leadership. That's what it takes. It's a special commitment to get that done."

There's no shortage of championship Bulls hanging around, from radio analyst Bill Wennington to team ambassador Scottie Pippen to B.J. Armstrong, now Derrick Rose's agent.

"The good thing is, you bump into a lot of those guys," Thibodeau added. "Again, I don't think you could ever underestimate how much Michael did."

Mental-toughness grades:

When asked which players he coached had the strongest mental toughness, Tom Thibodeau mentioned most of the great players he coached, such as Patrick Ewing, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Yao Ming and David Robinson.

"There are a lot of role guys that are critical," Thibodeau added. "When you look at a James Posey, P.J. Brown, Shane Battier -- those guys you can never measure them statistically, but you can measure them by winning.

"If you look at Shane Battier's statistics, they're never going to stand out, but all he does is win. I think that's the value of those Duke guys. I think they all understand how to win and how to be part of a team."

Teague has some trouble:

There has been some talk that the Bulls may be willing to trade second-year guard Marquis Teague and go with a veteran as the third point guard on the roster.

With Derrick Rose sitting out in Brazil, Teague played 25 minutes against Washington but finished with just 4 points, 1 assist and 4 turnovers.

"I'm not going to base how he's doing by one game," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "To me, it's what he does every day. What he did all summer, what he did in the fall, how he's handling practice.

"That (second) unit didn't play well. He's in charge of that unit. He's the point guard. He has to run the team. He has to get everyone playing to their strengths. He's capable of doing better, as is that entire unit."

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