It has surprised many people around the NBA that Thibodeau has not received a contract extension after his first two seasons at the helm in the Windy City. The 2010-11 NBA Coach of the Year has guided the Bulls to the best record in the league the past two seasons.
Thibs arguably did his best job in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. With limited practice time and without former MVP Derrick Rose for 27 of Chicago's 66 games, he still guided the Bulls to a 50-16 finish.
The Bulls are facing an uncertain future with Rose out for most of the upcoming season and new faces on the roster. The core players have bought into Thibodeau's approach, and locking him up with a long-term deal will go a long way in boosting team morale.
Thibodeau has been a key component in turning around the Bulls franchise over the past two seasons, and he is essential to the team's success in 2012-13. His defensive scheme and tireless preparation have earned the respect of every player on the roster.
Having revamped the bench, the front office has already had a questionable offseason, and heading into the season without signing Thibodeau to an extension would be a boneheaded move. It sends a message to the entire team, players and coaches alike, that exceeding expectations may not be enough to secure a long-term job in Chicago.
Thibodeau deserves to be paid like a top-tier coach after performing like one the past two seasons. It's clear that he is a perfect fit for the Bulls, but for some reason, his rapport with the players and winning more games than any other team in the league the past two seasons isn't enough to convince the front office of that notion.
Hopefully, Thibodeau and owner Jerry Reinsdorf can reach an agreement soon. Then Thibs can focus entirely on basketball.