Perdue: Thibodeau firing no surprise; relationship was broken
Former Bulls center Will Perdue answered a few questions on the Bulls' coaching change and what happens next.
Q: What was your reaction to the news the Bulls decided to fire coach Thibodeau?
A: The funny thing was, I've done a couple of radio interviews (Thursday), with people out in California, people in Nashville and it was a well-known fact. I mean, everyone knew it was going to happen. If anyone is surprised by this, I'm surprised by that.
I found Jerry Reinsdorf's statement to be pretty interesting. It basically came across as there was a lack of trust on both sides. I don't understand how you can be a coach, let alone do your duties as a general manager or president, if there's no trust. By reading the statement, knowing what I know about the situation, it just seems like this relationship had run its course.
Q: What's next for the Bulls?
A: You don't just fire a guy to fire a guy. You'd better have a plan, because the Bulls are at a point now where they can't go backward. Whether it was a lack of trust, difference in philosophy, playing time, whatever it may be -- at the end of the day, it's about wins and losses.
You have to think John Paxson and Gar Forman believe there's someone they can bring in that's going to take this team to the next level. That means at least the Eastern Conference finals.
If Derrick Rose is healthy, Jimmy Butler re-signs, Pau Gasol can play anywhere close to how he plays this year, whatever Joakim Noah gives you is a bonus, because you just don't know where his health is -- they're still, in my eyes, one of the best teams in the East.
That doesn't necessarily mean they can beat Cleveland, but this is definitely more than just a playoff team; it's a championship contender. You can basically say the Bulls are last year's Golden State Warriors.
Can the Bulls now find the right guy, like the Warriors did, and get that extra 20-25 percent out of the team, which puts them in the Finals?
I'm assuming, as we've always heard, that Fred Hoiberg is at the top of the list. As much as there's a disconnect between Thibodeau and the front office, I don't think you fire Thibodeau unless you think you can get the man at the top of your list.
Q: What do see in Thibodeau's future?
A: I'm not saying he won't take a year off, but I would be really surprised if he did. He's a grinder. Maybe he steps away for a year and becomes a consultant and just forces the Bulls to pay him, but I just think he loves coaching too much to basically stay away.
I remember a reporter asking him, "What did you do during the all-star break?" His answer was "Watched a few movies." What would he do for a year?