Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf reportedly hurt Tom Thibodeau with his scathing statement upon Chicago firing Thibodeau as coach last year. Bulls general manager Gar Forman and vice president John Paxson reportedly had their own rifts with Thibodeau.
Returning to Chicago with the Timberwolves, Thibodeau reflected on his former superiors.
Taking over as president of basketball operations along with assuming the title of head coach this summer—as one would think he coveted the former due to his acrimonious relationship with Gar Forman and John Paxson—he reiterated again he has no hard feelings toward either, or Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
“I don’t have a problem with those guys. I really don’t,” Thibodeau said. “They have a job to do, I had a job to do. Unfortunately, we had some injuries along the way, and so it didn’t end up maybe the way we all would have liked, but I don’t have any problem with those guys.”
“Jerry was great to me. I’ve got great respect for him,” Thibodeau said. “I spoke to Michael (Bulls President and COO). But at some point, I’ll sit down with Jerry.”
I’m don’t quite believe that, but:
1. Time heals all wounds. Whatever animosity existed between Thibodeau and Forman/Paxson/Reinsdorf has surely subsided with Thibodeau gone more than a year.
2. At least Thibodeau isn’t bitter enough to publicly trash the Bulls. That says something, even if it’s not as strong as taking Thibodeau’s words at face value.