Chicago Bulls Players Stick Up for Tom Thibodeau

Al RiegerCorrespondent IMarch 31, 2012

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 29: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls talks with head coach Tom Thibodeau during a game  at American Airlines Arena on January 29, 2012 in Miami, Florida. 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 Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tom Thibodeau has been integral to what the Bulls have been able to accomplish this season. Carlos Boozer likened him to a baseball manager,

"...he's done a great job of pushing us when we need to be pushed, of taking his foot off the gas pedal when we need some rest, and our record reflects that. At the same time, he's still teaching us the right things. And obviously, that's the coach we all want to play for til we finish,” he told ESPN.

This comes after Marc Stein had reported people close to Thibodeau say he’s “dismayed” about not receiving a contract extension yet. He’s currently under a two-year deal that will keep him with the Chicago Bulls through the 2012-12 season.

While Thibodeau denies having any quarrel with the Bulls front office, the players have made it clear how much he has contributed to the success of this team. 

Joakim Noah told ESPN, "I know that without Thibs, we wouldn't be in this position right now. As a player, control what you can control, but if you ask me, I'll go to bat for Thibs any day."

This is the kind of coach that doesn’t come around very often. He’s absolutely addicted to winning, and doesn’t accept defeat. Even when the team is up 20 and defeat is hardly possible, Thibodeau can be seen halfway onto the court, flailing around, yelling at his players to get back on defense. 

Boozer added, "He doesn't talk about that stuff, but we need to get him an extension ASAP.”

Thibodeau is on track to win his second consecutive Coach of the Year award this year as the Bulls have the best record in the NBA despite Derrick Rose missing 17 games.