According to Yahoo! Sports, there’s a power struggle brewing in Chicago. Things came to a head when Bulls GM Gar Forman fired assistant coach Ron Adams, a decision that did not sit well with head coach Tom Thibodeau: “Between Forman and Thibodeau the disconnect is deep, but (Derrick) Rose’s reconstructed knee could be a powerful agent of reconciliation. With transcendent talents, there come redemptive powers. No one wants to be ousted with Rose on the roster, because he is one of those once-in-a-lifetime players for executives and coaches. […] As Rose returns to the Bulls after missing a full season, his most important teammate – Luol Deng – is privately disappointed over the franchise’s unwillingness to engage him in serious contract discussions. Deng could leave as a free agent this summer, could be traded before the February deadline – everything is so unsettled over his future. An assistant coach that Rose deeply valued, Ron Adams, was let go over Thibodeau’s wishes this summer because Forman didn’t like Adams’ defiant disposition. Eventually, Rose could be trapped in the middle of the Forman-Thibodeau cold war. As the months passed without Thibodeau signing his name to a four-year contract extension last season, the coach privately feared the consequences of fully committing himself to that inevitable signature, league sources said. If Thibodeau had been convinced that his GM was usurping the coach’s influence without a signed deal, he knew the finalizing of his contract would move him further to the mercy of the GM. The Bulls had a news conference for that four-year, $18 million contract on the eve of training camp in 2012, but it was months and months until Thibodeau signed his name. ‘It is a toxic relationship that I believe will ultimately derail them,’ one NBA coaching source with close ties to Thibodeau and Forman warned. As Thibodeau delivered one of the best coaching performances the NBA had witnessed in years, pushing past the loss of Rose and core rotation players to beat the Brooklyn Nets and take the Miami Heat to five games in the conference semifinals, management kept pushing to exert controls on him. What had been a strained, fractured partnership descended into permanent disrepair with Forman’s firing of Adams, the Bulls’ top assistant coach and decades-long confidant of Thibodeau’s. If Bulls management had to take Thibodeau’s criticisms and pushback, they refused to take it from Adams. As one league source said, ‘Ron didn’t drink the Kool-Aid there, and this was a message from Gar to Thibs that he’s running the show, especially on picking the players.'”
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