Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau is set to become the next coach of the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Tribune reported on its website today.
The Tribune said Thibodeau accepted the Bulls’ three-year offer to become the team’s 18th head coach in franchise history, according to Tribune sources.
No formal announcement can be made until the conclusion of the Lakers-Celtics NBA Finals.
The Boston Globe, citing sources, reported yesterday that Thibodeau interviewed this week with the Bulls in Los Angeles after deciding he did not want to be coach of the New Orleans Hornets.
“He’s a great defensive coach for us now,” said Rajon Rondo, who heard of the coach’s possible hiring from the media. “He’s very vocal. He knows how to talk to the players and he has a great relationship with his players. If he does have the job, I wish him the best and I’m sure he’ll be successful.”
Said Ray Allen: “I think probably, defensively, he’s been the most consistent coach that I’ve had.”
Thibodeau, 50, has been credited with shaping the Celtics’ stifling defense. His teams have finished in the top 10 defensively 15 times, the Tribune said.
Thibodeau’s entire NBA coaching career, spanning 18 seasons, has been as an assistant. He got his break in 1984, when he was Salem State’s head coach. He then left his alma mater and moved onto Harvard, where he was an assistant for four seasons.