Nobody asked this question specifically, but it sounds like LeBron James would get a carving in Tom Thibodeau's NBA Mt. Rushmore.
"Nobody," Thibodeau said Saturday when asked if James compares to anyone he has coached against. "You're combining the speed, the power, the skill, the passing, the vision. I can't recall anyone that I've coached against that's like that.
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"There's nothing that he doesn't do. He's great with the ball, great without the ball. Can post, can drive, can shoot, can really pass. If you overcommit to him, he's going to make you pay. And he keeps getting better every year. He's an all-time great."
Thibodeau coached against Michael Jordan plenty of times. But even Jordan in his prime doesn't match up with James' size and strength.
The Bulls will host Miami for the final time during the regular season Sunday afternoon. The Heat is 1-5 at the United Center since Thibodeau began coaching the Bulls.
But the Bulls lost at Miami 93-79 two weeks ago when James didn't play because of a broken nose. The Bulls held a 1-point lead with five minutes left in the third quarter, then were dominated the rest of the way.
This is the second date in the Bulls' six-game, elite-opponent homestand. Four of the league's five best teams will visit town during the next eight days, with San Antonio, Houston and Oklahoma City following Miami into the building.
"In this league, you're going to be challenged every day you're in it," Thibodeau said. "It doesn't matter who you are, if you're a player, executive. If you're a first-year player, a 15th-year player -- it doesn't matter. That's what brings out the best in people. We're looking forward to it."
After the Feb. 23 loss in Miami, Joakim Noah talked about how the Bulls didn't bring enough dislike for the Heat to the court.
"Those guys ended our seasons a lot," Noah said that day. "You've got to hate playing these guys, and our intensity has to be, every time we play them, our intensity has to be high."
Following Friday's 85-77 home loss to Memphis, Noah wasn't in the right mood to get fired up about the Heat.
"I look forward to it. I don't think there's anything to talk about, really," he said in the locker room. "Everybody knows what's up. We're playing against the defending champs. Chicago Bulls vs. the Miami Heat -- it's always exciting."
Bulls guard D.J. Augustin went 0-for-10 from the field in the last game at Miami. He talked Friday about the challenging schedule ahead.
"We're not worrying about it," he said. "We feel like we're one of the best teams, too, and feel like we can beat anybody any given night, especially at home."