UPDATE 5:02 pm: It’s official, Tom Thibodeau is your Coach of the Year. He will be honored before the Bulls game Monday night.
As we said, this is well deserved. The Bulls had a roster with eight new players yet melded into a defensive power that finished with the best recoed in the NBA.
Philadelphia’s Doug Collins was second in the voting, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich was third and Denver’s George Karl was fourth.
11:52 am: The Chicago Bulls are having a press conference at 3:30 (eastern) today for a “major announcement.”
That means either Derrick Rose is going to be named MVP or Tom Thibodeau is going to be named Coach of the Year.
Looks like it is Thibodeau’s turn, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, who tweeted this.
Tom Thibodeau has won NBA Coach of the Year, the Tribune has confirmed.
It is possible Rose winning will be announced at the same time.
This is well deserved. The Bulls got 21 games better season over season, and improved to be the best defensive team in the NBA. Rose also credits the growth in his game to the pushing by Thibodeau.
Thibodeau will accept the award, if they can pry him out of the film room for a couple of minutes.
NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.
Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.
Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.
A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”
Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.
DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.
But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.
DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:
“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.
“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”
This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.
Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.
Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.
I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.