By David Schuster–

CHICAGO (WSCR) Sunday was a long day at the Berto Center as it started and ended with news that Tom Thibodeau was named the NBA’s Coach Of The Year. The word leaked out early in the morning and it was finally confirmed at a late afternoon press conference.

Thibodeau, as befits his personality, down played the award instead deflecting most of the credit to his assistants, players and upper management. But the reality is that Thibodeau deserved this honor and earned it with incredible hard work and long hours. He’s the first one here at the Bulls practice facility and the last one to leave making sure to turn out the lights.

Thibodeau was a long-time career assistant himself, before coming to Chicago. He had other offers last summer for more money but wisely saw that the Bulls would be his best bet. He led the Bulls to the best record in the league at 62-20 and easily beat out Philadelphia’s Doug Collins for the award.

To a man all the players were very happy for their head coach. Joakim Noah and Luol Deng both said that this team has taken on Thibodeau’s personality which includes working tirelessly and doing whatever is necessary to win. They also said they appreciated how he treats them as men. Pushing and prodding when necessary but also backing off when it applies.

Other news from Sunday, Carlos Boozer did not practice but Thibodeau said his power forward is improving on a daily basis. The plan is for Boozer to continue treatment all the way up to game time on Monday and if he can go, he will. His teammates thought Boozer would be ready and the guess here is the same.

As for Derrick Rose, he’ll be ready but didn’t participate in Sunday’s practice. The team said he was away on a personal matter. But don’t worry, the extra rest can only help and Rose will go through a shootaround on Monday morning to firm up the gameplan for the opener against Atlanta.

Watch & Listen LIVE