Now that Tyrus Thomas missed Wednesday's practice and didn't fly to Cleveland with the team, those covering the team* have toned down linking Tyrus's flu symptoms with any issues Tyrus has had recently with VDN or pseudo-coach Lindsey Hunter (a whole separate issue, that). Everything published Thursday morning mentions Thomas's illness as just an illness.
But just days before, it was instead 'the flu', as Sun-Times beat writer John Jackson called it. Similarly skeptical was WSCR reporter David 'the rotisserie chicken' Schuster. Trib columnist Steve Rosenbloom openly doubted the story as well. Even the earliest reports of the illness made sure to tie in Tyrus' issues with his minutes and lack of a contract extension.
So believing the worst in the Bulls (sporadic and puzzling discipline in the past, plus they're liars) as well as Thomas (known to pout and skip a practice before), coupled with the media not only failing to distance the circumstances but openly putting them together, I don't blame fans (least of all myself, being infallible and all) for thinking this sick story was a smokescreen for something else. I also think the Bulls could've been more proactive and emphatic to let everyone know this was nothing disciplinary.
But since another day has passed and the story is now only about progress in the illness, I guess it's possible that it was just an illness. The seed of doubt has already been planted though, and this is yet another chapter in the tumultuous career of Tyrus Thomas, and by this point they're looking like the final few chapters. It'll be interesting to see how he and VDN handle his return, though it looks like nothing good really lasts.
*The only one who straightforwardly handled Tyrus getting sick and his 4th quarter minutes without openly tying the two together was the Bulls best beat writer, Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald. I get that beat writers have more complex jobs nowadays when they're expected to also give opinions through their blogs and columns. But that said, I should've learned this already but it's just been re-affirmed: I'm trusting in McGraw first and foremost from now on.