On January 30, the Chicago Bulls came into the AT&T Center to take on the San Antonio Spurs. For any other team, they would consider this as one of 82 games. For Chicago Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau, it is more than just that.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is not one to talk about individual awards, nor taking credit for anything that the organization has accomplished, for him it is all about the players. This is one of the many reason why Coach Pop gets so much recognition in the league. It is is passion for the game, the way he molds his players year end and year out.
For Thibodeau, this is why he looks up to Popovich and why he wants to model his team after him and the Spurs organization.
Thibs talked with ESPN Chicago and credited everything that he has learned from Popovich.
"I give him a lot of credit, because he came in with a plan," Thibodeau said of Popovich. "And a lot of times people come in and they talk about the things [they want to do], he's done it. They established their core values. If you look at his entire time here, there's certain characteristics in all the players that he brings in, all the coaches that he brings in, they have a great system, their management. It all fits together. He's a great leader.
He also goes on and talks about the Spurs organization:
"To me, the mark of greatness is to have the ability to do it year after year, and he's done that. Their organization, they're the gold standard — from everything they do. Every aspect of how they run an organization."
Not the first time that we have heard such respectful words from coaches on the Spurs organization. They [Spurs] have a knack for finding talent. Popovich is a Hall of Fame Coach you can't deny that, his professionalism, how he does not hold back to the 'stars' of the team. They get the same treatment as one that steps onto the floor for the first time. There are times in games that you will see him to this day, yell at Tony Parker or Tim Duncan.
On that January 30th day, Thibodeau did not just count it as a win, but to him it meant something more. His team was on the road against one of the leagues best teams, and coming out of their with a win.
He wants his team to feel the way that Coach Pop has instilled in his team, that they can win every single game no matter whom is across the way from them. San Antonio has that killer instinct, that is what Thibs is hoping to bring to Chicago.