LOS ANGELES — Celtics associate head coach made a decision Friday as his team prepared for Game 2 of the NBA Finals with the Los Angeles Lakers. He decided he did not want to be coach of the New Orleans Hornets, giving further indication he believes he will be the next coach of the Chicago Bulls.
An NBA source said Thibodeau interviewed this week with the Bulls in Los Angeles and he impressed the Chicago brass enough to postpone a decision on the Hornets. Thibodeau has interviewed with the Bulls, Hornets and New Jersey Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers requested and received permission to speak with Thibodeau but never did.
NBA sources said the Bulls wanted to wait until the free agency period to pursue a coach but New Orleans’ courting of Thibodeau forced the Bulls’ hand and the associate coach told those close to him that he was most interested in that job. The Celtics’ defensive resurgence has been credited to Thibodeau and his stock as a potential head coach soared in the past few weeks.
The Bulls offer could come this weekend but an announcement may not occur until after the NBA Finals.