Baker’s Dozen: Thibodeau Setting Tone For Bulls By Turning Up The Attitude

By Ryan Baker-

CHICAGO (CBS) — “Do your job!”

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau’s trademark catchphrase has been ingrained in the brains of those of us who suffer through his repetitive and remedial rants on a daily basis.

I can only imagine how his players must hear it in their sleep. This season though, which is once again ripe with championship potential, the cantankerous Thibodeau will be preaching his familiar refrain to a choir consisting of primarily himself.

Derrick Rose’s rebuilt knees will stay under the microscope, but the pressure to produce is really on the NBA’s best regular-season coach, who now truly has “more than enough to win with.”

Knowing that he’ll ultimately be judged in June and not November, Thibodeau has set the tone by turning up the attitude. He rarely gives the media much in terms of insight or personality, but his level of snarky has has sunk to a new level of sour.

Looking for a little witty banter or joshing around? Nope. Wrong guy. It’s no Bull allowed with this dude.

The rookies are still learning — and afraid — but the veterans on the team have learned how to tune Thibodeau out. They aren’t the only ones within the organization that he’s rankled with his often smug, know-it-all demeanor.

One staffer referred to him as “God.”

If you’re Gregg Popovich, and own five championship rings, you can get away with being a condescending jerk. But not when you’re looking for your first title as a coach.

I’m sure Thibodeau will tell that you he’s just “doing his job.” He better be, with the deepest team he’s had in his five-year tenure in Chicago.

Barring another snake-bitten injury, anything less than a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals would be a bust for the Bulls. As Thibodeau likes to say these days, “We’ll see.”

Yes we will, Tom. Yes we will.

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