The Chicago Bulls have a golden opportunity in front of them, as they take on a short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers team in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, but head coach Tom Thibodeau’s future continues to hang over the franchise like a dark cloud.

The front-office in the Windy City and Thibs haven’t seen eye-to-eye for a number of years now, and increasingly, it seems as though this may be his last run.

For now, Thibodeau refuses to to engage the rumor mill, instead choosing to focus on the herculian task ahead of trying to bring an NBA title back to Chi-Town.

Per Yahoo! Sports:

As (Derrick) Rose makes an inspired return to a playoff stage that desperately missed him, Thibodeau is pushing closer to the end of his run here. This wasn’t on his mind on Monday after a 99-92 Game 1 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers; only winning. Only the opportunity now. Rose is becoming Rose again, slowly, surely, but the progression’s unmistakable. It changes everything for Chicago, except this: Amid the twisted culture of Chicago’s regime – where winning is losing, where success is failure – management can’t wait to rid itself of one Tom Thibodeau.

 

“Ahhhh, that’s all noise,” Thibodeau said. […] “I want them to be mentally tough,” Thibodeau said. “In this league, it’s so easy to get sidetracked. There’s so much noise. Trades. Free agency. This. That. Whatever. To me, none of that is important. All that matters is what we think. Are we doing the right things every day? Are we putting the proper work in? Are we playing the right way? Practicing the right way? That’s how you play well in this league. All that other stuff is just noise, it doesn’t mean anything.”

 

Yes, the Bulls have a real good shot now. And the best chance that they’ll ever have to win a title here would be with Thibodeau – as terrific of a coach as Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg, management’s choice to ultimately be the replacement. The Orlando Magic are waiting to watch what happens at season’s end, league sources said, waiting to see how the team and coach dissolve the remaining two years on his contract and separate. […] “It’s a great group of guys,” Thibodeau finally said on Monday night. “That’s the thing that makes it so good as a coach – all the adversity that they’ve been through, no matter what the circumstances are, they always rise up and give you what they’ve got.”.