Apr 25, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau (R) yells at referee Jason Phillips (23) front he bench against the Washington Wizards in the third quarter in game three of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center. The Bulls won 100-97. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The search could take a few days, a few weeks, or a few months. Regardless of the length, we will see a new man running the bench of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The only question is who will run the team?
Ever since Mike D’Antoni resigned as the head of the purple and gold, the speculation has been running rampant. We’ve heard names like Steve Kerr, Kevin Ollie, John Calipari, Mark Jackson, Frank Vogel, Byron Scott, Tom Thibodeau and even Roy Williams.
All of these are great names, but let’s forget about bringing in a college coach to run Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. The Lakers, if they want to get Kobe one more ring in his last two years, need a coach that has a strong resume and is already an established coach in the NBA.
And the one that they should hire, or push really hard to hire, is Thibodeau.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of those coaches listed before above have great resumes and are good coaches. But for the Lakers, if they want to really win, they can’t test the waters with a college coach, or a college coach that did poorly their last time in the NBA. They have to get a coach that has some power.
This is where Thibodeau comes in.
Now, I know that the Bulls have him under contract until the 2016-17 season and they would have to give up a first round pick for him (they’ve given up first round picks for worst: see Steve Nash). But we can’t deny his coaching ability. He was mentored by Doc Rivers in Boston and quickly turned around a struggling Bulls team. He was able to maintain the ego of Derrick Rose and turned a bunch of role players in quality players.
Not only that, but Thibodeau knows how to manage a team with injuries. They lost Derrick Rose. They had players missing games the last two season and he managed to work some magic and keep the Bulls afloat. Look at this season, for example. The Bulls lost Rose and let Luol Deng go, and they still managed to make the playoffs. Albeit, they got an early exit, they fought the whole season.
One thing that sparked a tiny excitement with D’Antoni was his type of offense. People were beginning to think that a new era of Showtime Lakers was about to start with D’Antoni, Kobe, Nash and Dwight Howard. We know it didn’t work, but the thought was there.
With Thibodeau, he’s more of a defensive minded coach (the Lakers need defense at this point anyways). He turned Joakim Noah into the Defensive Player of the Year. Now imagine what he could do with Pau Gasol? If Gasol stays, that is.
Now, I know people will have some complaints. He runs his players tired with too many minutes, isn’t what the Lakers need right now, etc, etc.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
The Lakers need a change. Fans have to stop living in the Showtime days and need to accept that it’s a new day in both the Lakers and the entire league as a whole. Kobe will be gone soon and they need to start working on their future now. Having a coach like Thibodeau, who will bring a whole different style that the Lakers aren’t used to. And that’s a good thing.
The Lakers need a change. Whether it be from the top or on the bench, something has to change.
And Tom Thibodeau is that change.