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Bulls give coach Thibodeau four-year extension

The SportsXchange

Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau agreed to a four-year contract extension with the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

The Bulls had already picked up Thibodeau's option for this season but talks to extend his contract stalled over the length and value of the deal. Thibodeau's new contract pays him a base salary of $17.5 million, with bonuses that could reach $20 million, according to Yahoo!Sports.

"I'm biased, but I think Tom is the best coach in the NBA," general manager Gar Forman said. "I watch his practice every day and his attention to detail is incredible."

Forman has said that he wants to keep Thibodeau around for a long time. Thibodeau was last year's Coach of the Year.

"Obviously, I'm glad we got the contract done," Thibodeau said. "I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead. My expectations remain the same.

"I'm thankful to (owner) Jerry (Reinsdorf) and Gar and (Vice President of Basketball Operations) John (Paxson). I never doubted it would work out. I love being here."

Thibodeau's leverage in getting a bigger deal was affected by NBA coaches not getting the big-money deals from previous years. The Bulls are also gun-shy after they signed Scott Skiles to a three-year, $13.25 million extension (on top of an exercised option) in 2006, but ended up firing him a year later. There was still about $7 million left on his contract. Skiles settled for $4 million.
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