Former teammate Scottie Pippen, who has been in a similar role with the team since 2012, was none too happy to hear of Kukoc’s hiring. As a form of protest, Pippen sat out the last 1.8 seconds of the team’s regular Monday morning staff meeting at the United Center.
“It hurts. It really hurts, man,” Butler told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Where’s a 50-something year-old, overweight guy with a really bad comb-over supposed to get a job making 4 or 5 million dollars a year these days?”
Sources say Bulls GM John Paxson is set to name Iowa State's Fred Hoibery as the team's new coach they'll fire in three to five years, replacing the hugely successful Tom Thibodeau, who was bounced after five seasons of .600-plus basketball.
“Dave [Broome] and I were sitting around wondering if we’d ever get someone to push the contestants to the limit like Jillian [Michaels]. The show hasn't been the same since she left and we needed a bulldozer. Dave threw out Coach Thibs' name and we both stopped and knew we had to have him. Once the season was over we hired him immediately,” said NBC executive producer, Ben Silverman.
"We're excited to welcome back Vinny into the Bulls family," Bulls General Manager Gar Forman said in a press conference announcing the moves. "We feel his approach to the game, drawing up questionable plays and misusing timeouts in an almost comical fashion, will be a welcome contrast to the past five years, where Thibodeau made sure the team would overperform and play hard despite serious injuries to key players."
“Jimmy is the key to us winning this series, but he's gonna have to go the full 48,” said Coach Thibs. “Hell, if I can find a way to squeeze 50 or 60 minutes out of him during regulation, I’m going to do it.”
"Did I come back?" asked Rose, who logged a combined 40 minutes in a loss Wednesday to Orlando and a win Thursday over Miami. "That's up to God to decide."