New Orleans coach Monty Williams told an entertaining story about Tom Thibodeau before Monday's game.
Both coaches joined Mike Krzyzewski's staff on the U.S. National team this summer. In July, at the end of a weeklong training camp in Las Vegas, they coached against each other in a U.S. Select Team scrimmage.
"He snuck a trade in on me the day before the game. Thibs is a slick dude, man," Williams said with a smile. "He caught me in the hallway in the hotel in Vegas. I'm just trying to get to my room and get away from all that stuff and he comes up to me with a trade. I'm like, 'OK, Thibs, whatever, man. I just want to get my family upstairs.' He got me. But I learned a lot from him and I'm sure we'll become even closer as the years go on."
The flaw to the story is Williams' team won the game 128-106. So there's no evidence Thibodeau got the best of the alleged trade. Williams declined to name the players involved. Cleveland's Kyrie Irving led the victorious White squad with 23 points, while New Orleans' Anthony Davis led the Blue with 22.
Trades aside, Williams spoke fondly of the time he spent working with Thibodeau.
"I learned a lot just being with him every day for a week, just talking basketball, family, some of the people he knows that I know," Williams said. "Just listening to the way he goes about his business, for me, was beneficial."
Sweet hurt Chicago for AD:
Chicago native Anthony Davis has no luck when it comes to homecoming games. He missed his rookie appearance in Chicago because of a concussion last year, then suffered a broken left hand in Sunday's game at New York and is out indefinitely.
"He certainly wanted to play here," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. "One of the first things he said to me when I got back in the locker room is, 'Two years in a row.' It took me a minute to realize what he was talking about. He just really wanted to play here. I feel bad for him."
Davis did sit on the New Orleans bench during Monday's game. The 6-foot-10 forward is off to a great start this season, averaging 18.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and an NBA-best 3.6 blocks.
"He's terrific. I saw that this summer (at the USA Select camp)," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "You could see all the confidence he gained at USA Basketball. He's a very, very talented kid and it sounds like he's made a serious commitment to improving.
"He impacts the game in a lot of different ways. His defense, his shot blocking, the way he runs the floor -- very unique."
Snell doing well:
Bulls rookie Tony Snell started his third straight game on Monday. In the first two, Snell averaged 15.5 points and shot 57 percent from the field.
"I like his demeanor a lot," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He doesn't get too high, doesn't get too low. He just comes in. He's all business. It's important to him. He's very serious. Late in the game, he's not afraid, so that's a big plus."
Thibodeau didn't make any lineup predictions for when Jimmy Butler eventually returns from a turf toe injury. Butler's return is not imminent.
"We'll see how it unfolds. We need everybody," Thibodeau said. "Getting Jimmy back will be a big plus for us."