Tom Thibodeau: Is He the Reason Dwight Howard Refuses to Play for the Bulls?

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIFebruary 10, 2012

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 13:  Head coach Tom Thibodeau talks with his players during a time out in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics on January 13, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Chicago Bulls defeated the Boston Celtics 88-79. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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An intriguing premise came up on the local sports radio station Friday regarding why big-name free-agents might be reluctant to sign with the Chicago Bulls, and that is coach Tom Thibodeau.

It's an interesting thought, because you would think Chicago would be a very desirable location to play outside of the lovely winters the city is known for.

Yet the only fruit borne from the summer of 2010 free-agent bonanza was power forward Carlos Boozer, who fans probably wish would go away.

The Bulls struck out on the big three they were hoping to lure in: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

When you think of the so-called premier players who chose Chicago outside of Boozer, the only name that comes to mind is Ben Wallace, and we all know how that one turned out.

He played for the perpetually scowling Scott Skiles.

In Thibodeau however, the Bulls have another disciplinarian not known for taking guff from his players.

On 670 The Score this morning, I heard a story from Alex Kennedy of that I never heard before regarding Thibodeau and Derrick Rose.

He mentioned a time when Rose came to a shootaround wearing a cap. Thibobeau swatted it off his head and let him know there was a no-hat rule.

That was the last time Rose wore a cap to practice, but how would another player react to that happening?

Back in 1997, Latrell Sprewell choked his coach, P.J. Carlisimo, after warning him to lay off him in practice.

It's a different day and time than it was forty or fifty years ago when you pretty much were property of a team, and didn't dare second-guess your coach.

Players today are used to being pampered from the time they first show promise in middle school.

Dwight Howard is not thrilled with his current leader, Stan Van Gundy.

Kennedy addressed the issues the two have had saying,  "Dwight has complained about how long Stan's practices are, how long his shoot arounds are, how Stan is always getting on his players and yelling at them."

How would that change if he came to the Bulls?

Thibodeau is usually hoarse in the first quarter of games, not that it stops him from continuing to squawk until the final buzzer sounds.

It's hard to play for a guy like that.

The Bulls have a young team. With Rose buying in, everybody else falls in line, but that doesn't mean stars from other teams want to be subjected to the constant haranguing.  

Elite players today are millionaires many times over.

They all have different priorities.

Listening to Howard, it's questionable if winning is among them. Otherwise, why would he choose New Jersey over Chicago as a destination, unless he wants to hit the Jersey Shore and chase down JWoww?

With coaches like Thibodeau, you have to take the good with the bad. He's a very good coach, and is well-respected in the league.

Kobe Bryant is a big fan of his.

But he's also a guy who doesn't know how to back off, and not everybody likes that type of coach. It's questionable if he's the reason premier players are ducking the Chicago Bulls.

But nonetheless, it is a question.