Imrem: Is there a coach who can fit in with Bulls?

  • Bulls general manager Gar Forman, left, and executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson will give it another shot at naming a coach that will fit the team's culture.

    Bulls general manager Gar Forman, left, and executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson will give it another shot at naming a coach that will fit the team's culture. Associated Press

Updated 5/28/2015 7:31 PM

This sure doesn't sound like it's over yet.

Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf took parting shots at Tom Thibodeau after the coach was fired Thursday.


Reinsdorf normally doesn't roll like that. Normally his operatives come out and do the bashing for him.

Maybe Reinsdorf didn't want his son, club president Michael Reinsdorf, getting messed up in the mess.

After the Bulls issued the chairman's statement, executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman had their say.

GarPax made it clear that they didn't believe Thibodeau was a team player and they agreed with Reinsdorf that the coach didn't fit the Bulls' culture.

Now it'll be interesting to hear whether Thibodeau fires back.

This never appeared to be a man who would remain quiet while being slapped around … unless something in his Bulls' deal dictates the $9 million remaining on his contract serves as hush money.

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Then there's the possibility Thibodeau goes out more gracefully, saying he just didn't get the job done.

My perception of this tattered relationship came down to GarPax not liking Thibodeau and he not respecting them.

Look, much of what Reinsdorf, Paxson and Forman said after ushering Thibodeau out of the Bulls' family is justifiable.

One characterization of Thibodeau when the Bulls were considering him for the job was that he's "impossible."

There's a reason that, as good as he is at coaching, Thibodeau had to wait a couple of decades as an NBA assistant before the Bulls gave him a head-coaching opportunity.

Reinsdorf, Paxson and Forman have to take a personal inventory of themselves.

Like, specifically, why did they hire Thibodeau in the first place? And, generally, why have they failed at hiring head coaches?


First was Scott Skiles, and that didn't end well. Then came Vinny Del Negro, who also clashed with management. Now there's the Tom Thibodeau debacle.

Paxson famously, or infamously, grabbed Del Negro by the necktie during a disagreement following a game. Next came GarPax' ugly relationship with Thibodeau.

Those incidents are enough for Paxson to have a reputation locally and nationally as a hard, perhaps nasty, person for a coach to work with.

So, hey, fellas, what's going on that organization anyway?

Either GarPax hire the wrong coaches or the Bulls' culture makes it difficult for any coach to fit in.

Whatever it is, it's difficult to trust that Reinsdorf, Paxson and Forman will do any better at picking a coach this time around.

"We're looking for the right fit," Forman reiterated.

Clearly to Paxson and Forman, Thibodeau wasn't the right fit, and that's undeniably accurate.

Seriously, though, is there a right fit for this franchise?

The name that has come up for months, probably longer, is former Bulls player/current Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg.

Maybe Hoiberg is the next Steve Kerr and a successful NBA coach waiting to happen. He's certainly somebody that Bulls management would be comfortable with at the start.

But let's say the Timberwolves are interested in Hoiberg. He worked in their front office awhile back and might prefer returning there than to coming back to the Bulls' curious, dubious dysfunction concerning head coaches.

No, we haven't heard the last of this saga, not from Thibodeau or Hoiberg or others.

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