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updated: 2/18/2014 8:25 PM

Thibodeau continues to needle Bulls bosses

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  • Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau knows exactly what he's doing when he talks about his future with the team, and so do his bosses.

      Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau knows exactly what he's doing when he talks about his future with the team, and so do his bosses.
    Associated Press

 
 

Give him an opportunity to say he will be here through the end of his contract, and Tom Thibodeau is certain to pass on it.

The Bulls coach did it again Monday when he joined the "Mully and Hanley" show on WSCR 670-AM.

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Asked if he wants to be back with the team next season, Thibodeau replied, "I'm under contract. I don't have complete control over that. They can come in and tell me they don't want me. But I'm under contract. I've enjoyed being here. So I'm looking … I'm planning on being here. But you never know."

That's what he does. At least that's what he's done ever since John Paxson and Gar Forman exercised their management muscles and dumped Thibodeau's top assistant, Ron Adams, last June.

It created a rift that still exists, and even if Thibodeau really does want to stay, he's not going to give Bulls bosses the satisfaction of saying he wants to remain here for the rest of his contract, which is only in the first season of a four-year extension.

There's also the distinct possibility that Thibodeau wants out and will never again be content with Bulls management.

Paxson knows what Thibodeau is doing. He's poking and prodding Paxson at every turn, trying to force the Bulls to let him go, make them so miserable that they have to get him out of town.

The problem is Thibodeau is really good at what he does and the Bulls know their next coach won't be nearly as accomplished, so they're not about to send him away without great cause.

The problem is they're both in the right here. Thibodeau has a right to be angry about what the Bulls did to his staff, but the Bulls aren't about to let a good coach walk just because he's angry about a personnel matter.

And nothing is going to change any time soon.

Hockey World Cup

At a meeting in Sochi on Tuesday including NHLPA boss Don Fehr and IIHF president Rene Fasel, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league isn't ready to discuss NHL players returning to the 2018 Olympics in South Korea.

"None of this moves forward, if it moves forward at all, if the players don't want to play," Bettman said. "If the players ever said, 'We're not interested,' we're not going to force them to go."

While the debate will rage on for the next six months, there seems little debate about the return of the World Cup, which seems certain to happen, regardless of a decision on Olympic participation.

And that is excellent news for hockey fans.

Morning hockey

Both the U.S. and Canada play at 11 a.m. Chicago time Wednesday, with the Americans getting a very old and tired Czech team (USA Network), after the Czechs nearly blew a 4-goal lead Tuesday against Slovakia. The Canadians receive Latvia (MSNBC), a surprise winner over Jonas Hiller and the Swiss.

Both North American teams should advance with relative ease. It's a break for Canada not having to face Hiller, and a break for the U.S. that the Czechs had to play a hard third period and couldn't rest their ancient stars.

Hot shot

Jimmy Walker's victory at Pebble Beach a week ago gave him 3 wins in his first eight starts of the new wraparound season. In the last 25 years, the only players to win three of the first eight are Tiger Woods (eight times), Phil Mickelson (2005) and David Duvall (4 wins, 1999).

Wanna get away?

If you're looking for a new home away from Chicago's miserable winters, you should know that the world's No. 2-ranked golfer, Adam Scott, is selling his Abu Dhabi house for only $6.2 million. The 10,000-square foot home includes a pool and views of the ocean course at Saadiyat Golf Club.

Scott has also offered to throw in a round of golf with him if you purchase the house. Feel free to ask caddie Steve Williams to stay home.

The quote

The Golf Channel's Brandel Chamblee, on making a swing change: "I guess the secret is in not making big changes quickly, but little changes gradually. It's akin to somebody moving the furniture in your living room two inches a week. You don't really notice it, nor do you walk into it in the middle of the night. Next thing you know, after a year your furniture is on the other side of the living room."

Best tweet

From @NOTSCNFL: "Falcons WR Roddy White was arrested in Atlanta on charges of helping kill thousands of fantasy football teams over the past year."

And finally …

Kaspars Daugavins, on how Latvia could possibly beat Canada: "We'll just tell our goalie to stop every shot. Then you can't lose, right?"

brozner@dailyherald.com

• Hear Barry Rozner on WSCR 670-AM and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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