Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the Chicago Bulls gives instructions to his team during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the United Center on February 22, 2012, in Chicago. The Bulls defeated the Bucks 110-91. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
While the Bears drag their feet working out a deal for Matt Forte, the Bulls are curiously letting Coach Thibodeau twist in the wind without a contract extension.
It's possible the Bulls are employing the Lovie Smith Rule*
*When Lovie Smith's contract is up, the Bears suddenly go deep in the playoffs. The rest of the time, they're mediocre.
So maybe Reinsdorf and Forman are hoping Thibs will kick into another gear in the playoffs, trying to earn more money. It's certainly conceivable.
But Thibodeau is the fastest coach ever to win 100 games. And he's holding the Bulls together without the league MVP. Say Kobe Bryant goes down ... how do you think the Lakers would fare?
Perhaps more importantly than satisfying Coach, the Bulls' negotiating tactics are sending a message to the rest of the league. If you were a free agent, would you want to go to a team that would value you and pay you according to your true worth? Or would you like to dangle until the last minute, waiting to see if you have to uproot your family?
The team smartly opened the wallet for Derrick Rose. Why they can't do the same for their best coach since Phil Jackson is baffling.