With the Chicago Bulls on the brink of greatness if they can win the LeBron James sweepstake, they solidified their chances of landing him by hiring the right coach, Tom Thibodeau.
James wants to play for a team that can win a championship and win it now, and by adding the right coach to the mix, that possibility is playing itself out.
Even though the Bulls were said to be looking for an experienced head coach, Thibodeau's years of experience in the NBA, and his reputation as a defensive genius akin to Bill Belichek in football negates his lack of head coaching experience.
He comes to the Bulls with a plan. He laid out that plan in the media session today.
He said the Bulls were going to be a defensive and rebounding team that limits its turnovers and plays an inside-outside game on offense.
He singled out current star point guard Derrick Rose as the player that has to get that defense started. "He's a very special player, Thibodeau said. If we're going to be a great defensive team, it's going to start with him. He's going to have to work on it everyday."
If you have watched Rajon Rondo play for the Celtics, you know how good a coach he is on the defensive end, with Rondo being one of the best defensive points in the league.
An even better example is getting Ray Allen and Paul Pierce to buy into his system. Under his guidance, they went from the ole defense to goring the Bull.
The Bulls are already a strong rebounding team with Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, and hopefully a couple of offseason additions will add to that.
The inside-outside game is currently missing. They still don't have a real threat in the post that can utilize that game to its fullest potential. Noah has gotten better, but may never be that guy.
Here's where James comes in.
He understands to win championships you have to play good defense. He's one of the most explosive defenders in the league, and adding him to the current mix would make the Bulls a very formidable opponent.
He's also ready to be coached. I think he knows he needs that, and he doesn't want to dictate orders. He's ready to take them from the right coach.
Thibodeau has the respect of everyone that has played for him and other players around the league that know about him. James knows about him too.
He came up with a defense that limited James' production against the Celtics and made it difficult for him to take over the game.
He did the same thing to the Lakers and Kobe. They won because of their supporting players, because his defense put the clamps on Kobe.
What's got to be attractive to James if he came to the Bulls would be playing with a player the caliber of Derrick Rose. Other teams will no longer be able to stop him no matter who is coaching against him because of the threat of Rose.
You have to pick your poison, so both players will be almost unstoppable.
Thibodeau also is under the same umbrella as James being represented by Creative Artists Agency.
While that doesn't mean James will sign with the Bulls for that reason, it doesn't hurt either.
Listening to Thibodeau talk, you have a sense of a guy who has a plan and knows how to implement it.
Does signing Thibodeau as the head coach mean the Bulls have a plan too?
We'll find out if that plan culminates with the Larry O'Brien trophy next June?
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