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The Chicago Bulls general manager fired assistant coach Ron Adams. Probably, there has never been more ado over removing an assistant coach.
While it might seem this is about what happened, in reality, a lot of fuss has been made about what actually didn’t happen. Tom Thibodeau wasn’t sitting next to Gar Forman when Forman said that there wasn’t a rift, so to some, that proves there was a problem. Articles such as in the piece by Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times argue by suggestion.
Another opinion of the writer is added in the statement, "But it was clear that Thibodeau did not agree with the decision — and more importantly, in the big picture, that Thibodeau does not have final say on his assistant coaches.
The article concludes with an ominous suggestion that there’s a 50 percent chance that they’ll end in “divorce.”
The problem here is that there’s a lot of supposition where substance should be. Where’s the beef? Where is the statement from Thibodeau saying he’s unhappy? How do we know he doesn't have say in assistant coaches? Is there any room between "no say" and "not having final say?" Innuendo is a lazy-man's journalism.
It draws to mind the old Bloom County cartoons where Milo Bloom would interview someone and then get them to deny some ludicrous charge. Then he’d write, “Tom Thibodeau denied that he had no say in personnel decisions.”
Sometimes, saying someone denies something is a way of just suggestion that there’s something to hide. At times, something happens that no one admits to, but sometimes, things are denied because they just aren’t true.
What’s interesting is when you look at an article written by Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago, just about what was said. With no "interpretation” involved, the controversy doesn’t sound nearly so intense or hostile. It’s not the events that are ominous; it’s the dark, shadowy music playing in the background.
Is it possible, or even probable, that there is some sort of tension between Forman and Thibodeau regarding players? Probably. Forman is the type of GM who doesn’t want his players' minutes overstretched.
On the other hand, Thibodeau does tend to overplay certain players. And at least Joakim Noah’s plantar fasciitis can probably be traced back to his playing time, which actually doesn’t even tell the story of how much playing Noah does. According to this, he ran 2.7 miles per game, the most of any player in the NBA last season. That’s a lot of miles.
To be fair to Thibodeau, though, some of the players he's had have no business setting shoes on an NBA court.
What’s a bit ironic here is that a lot fans who have criticized Thibodeau in the past are taking his side in this controversy.
If what comes out of this is that the front office allows Thibodeau more input into the personnel decisions, but only if he promises to use the players they give him, then the Bulls as a whole win. If this offseason has been any indication, then that’s the case.
As to Adams' firing—without some kind of actual evidence, I have trouble believing that someone would fire an “innocent” person, impacting their life and family, just to get under the skin of another subordinate.
I expect there is something else to that particular decision. I need something besides guesswork before I assume someone is a petty, vindictive fire-breathing devil dragon who roasts workers while gleefully laughing and offering the deceased's best friend a morsel.
Call me naïve.