Ben Dowsett of Basketball Insiders had an interesting peek into the Bulls' locker room in his article after the Bulls visited Utah. Dowsett suggested that some players were upset at how Thibodeau was ousted last year:
All parties outwardly insist the team remains united, but privately, it certainly feels like there is a lot of tension and fractured relationships within organization. The locker room has become divided into cliques, per Basketball Insiders sources. One group, including Rose and injured center Joakim Noah, harbors lingering resentment over the handling of ousted coach Tom Thibodeau.
Speaking of Thibs, he got a bunch of shout outs in a very funny Woj podcast with Brian Scalabrine (way more entertaining than actually listening to Thibs on Bill Simmons' latest pod).
Scalabrine noted that Thibs didn't really get the credit he deserved for developing guys in his time with the Bulls. Here's Scal:
"Thibs makes players better than they really are. People really miss that about Thibs. They think that's management. Now management does draft people, but they don't develop players. Management is not Adrian Griffin working with Jimmy Butler. The coaching staff develops the players.
Scalabrine also commented on what he thinks went wrong last year:
"I think what happened last year in Chicago, there was a lot of undermining going on and the players wanted to take the easy way out. The easy way out is management isn't backing Thibs.... Luol Deng when he left, the Bulls got better [but] definitely took a hit from the locker room standpoint. You gotta have guys that have the coaches' back. If management is throwing guys under the bus, then players are going to take the easy way out."
Scal talks a lot more about his time with the Bulls, stories from his career, and the debacle in Golden State under Mark Jackson. It's worth a listen.