Being an NBA head coach must be stressful. Not only do they have to manage the players, rotations, plays and assistant coaches, they also have to interact with referees, keep upper management happy and — above all — win games so that fans don’t hate them. It’s quite a big job for one guy. Lots and lots of stress, and it goes double for first time head coaches. There’s no way they can know what they’re getting themselves in to.
One such case study is the Chicago Bulls’ Tom Thibodeau, whose name I can spell right without looking it up. This is his first season as an NBA head man, and he’s jumping in to it with both feet, Amar’e Stoudemire-style. From the Chicago Tribune:
Preseason or not, the intensity of new Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau on the sidelines was apparent from the start of the game against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night at American Airlines Center.
Referee Monty McCutchen, obviously still in preseason mode, decided to have a little fun after Thibodeau — a longtime NBA assistant in his first head-coaching job — protested a foul call against Taj Gibson on the Mavericks’ first offensive possession.
”At least say hello first as a head coach before you start yelling,” McCutchen said with a smile. ”Congratulations … now you can start yelling.”
That’s just common NBA courtesy, you guys. A coach always has to say hi to the refs for the first time before he can properly chide them for making a bad call. Everyone knows that. How gauche of Thibs. Such a faux pas. Didn’t Doc Rivers teach him anything?
The bright side is that now that Thibodeau has been officially welcomed to the NBA, he’s allowed to complain about anything he wants with no worry of punishment. He will receive no technicals and at least 95 percent of calls will go his way. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.