After playing the waiting game for the better part of the last year, Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau finally got the contract extension he deserves, netting a four-year deal with the Bulls Monday according to the Chicago Tribune.
Thibodeau told the Chicago Tribune, "Obviously, I'm glad we got the contract done. I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead. My expectations remain the same."
This is huge news for the Bulls faithful as Thibodeau was said to have been growing disgruntled after not receiving a contract extension as the end of the 2011-12 season approached, despite leading Chicago to the NBA's best record two years in a row (per ESPN).
Even though it took longer than most would think to get the new deal in place, Thibodeau and the Bulls can now put the contract talk behind them and concentrate on preparing of the upcoming season without All-Star point guard Derrick Rose.
Thibodeau has started off great in his first two seasons with the Bulls, amassing a 112-36 record and becoming the quickest head coach to reach 100 wins in NBA history last March (per Bulls.com).
Having the best regular-season record has not translated into an NBA Finals berth just yet for Chicago. The Bulls made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2010-11 season only to lose to the Miami Heat, and then they were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs last season by the Philadelphia 76ers after Rose went down with is ACL injury in Game 1.
It is not out of the realm that Thibodeau can lead the Bulls to a solid record—even without their former MVP on the floor—as Chicago went 18-9 with Rose on the sidelines last year.
It is clear that Thibodeau is a top-tier coach in the NBA, and if he can lead the Bulls to a good enough record to be playoff eligible until Rose's possible return late in the upcoming season, he will prove his worth all the more.