With Tuesday night's 121-117 victory over the Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau locked up a spot as the head coach of the East at the All-Star Game in Orlando. It's quite an honor, and the reigning NBA Coach of the Year certainly deserves it. Here's what he had to say about it, as noted by Nick Friedell and Jon Greenberg for ESPNChicago.com:
"It's more a testament and a byproduct of what our team has done," Thibodeau said after the game. "Anytime you can participate in anything like that, it's always good. It's an honor and I look forward to it."
However, NBA fans know that Thibs might not be the best fit for the loose atmosphere of the All-Star Game. He's an intense guy, the sort of coach whose home is just a bed, a couch, and empty pizza boxes. It's also possible he takes lots of showers in the sink. Point being that it's difficult to imagine him treating anything basketball-related like a vacation.
His stewardship of the East could be a disaster. So here's a preview of what could come to pass.
1. At the weekend's introductory press conference, Thibodeau expresses disgust with the All-Star style after watching the past 25 contests on tape the previous night. The assorted press initially thinks he's joking, at which point he launches into a 15-minute lecture on how defensive rotations can easily stop passes off the backboard in the half-court.
2. At that night's Rising Stars Challenge, Thibs wanders over to Charles Barkley's bench and tells him he's playing too many power forwards at once. Chuck simply says "rebounds," as if it were a real game.
3. The East's open practice devolves into anarchy when Thibodeau asks Dwyane Wade and LeBron James to stand on the perimeter and wait for Derrick Rose to pass them the ball off penetration. They question this strategy, at which point the coach tells them to run suicides. LeBron and Wade laugh, make fun of the bags under his eyes, and return to their phones to play Temple Run.
4. Thibs attends All-Star Saturday Night, says in an interview with TNT's Cheryl Miller that he likes the Shooting Stars Competition best because it preaches the importance of making shots from all over the court. He adds that the Skills Competition is unrealistic and should feature a test of beating a double-team involving two rabid golden retrievers.
5. Paul George jumps over a car altered to look like Thibodeau at the dunk contest.
6. In the second quarter of the All-Star Game, Thibodeau buries his head in his hands when Dwight Howard tries to play point guard simply to anger Shaquille O'Neal. Thirty seconds later, he walks into the locker room without a word. No one can find him after the game.
7. Three weeks later, with the Bulls in a tailspin, Thibs returns to the United Center in full beard and no clothes except for sweatpants. The franchise asks him to return to his job as soon as he's ready, but he claims he's done with basketball and will instead devote his life to trading String Cheese Incident bootlegs.