Thibodeau quickest coach in NBA history to hit 100 wins
March 20, 2012 – With Monday’s win in Orlando, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau not only broke Phil Jackson’s team record for reaching the 100-win plateau the fastest, but set the NBA record, breaking Avery Johnson’s mark by one game. In his second year on the sidelines, Thibodeau owns a career coaching record of 100-30 (.769).
“I know he is going to say it doesn’t mean anything, but I think it is a great accomplishment,” said Bulls center Joakim Noah following the game. “He is the hardest working guy I have ever been around. He deserves it.”
Carlos Boozer scored 24 points and had 13 rebounds, while John Lucas III added 20 points off the bench as the Bulls beat the Magic 85-59.
“I think it speaks to the job he’s done,” said Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. “Look, there’s a lot great coaches in this league, and a lot of people have done great jobs. But nobody — nobody — has done a better job than Tom has.”
The Bulls won for the fifth time in six games and set a franchise record for fewest points allowed in the regular season, previously set at 62. They also improved to 3-1 over the past four games playing without guard Derrick Rose (10-4 on the season), who continued to nurse a sore groin.
“I have never seen anybody work as hard as he does,” added Luol Deng. “We all believe in him. As hard as he works, and when he comes up with a game plan, we buy into it because we know how much effort he puts into studying every opponent. Most of us didn’t even know [ about Thibodeau’s accomplishment]. No one even said anything before the game about it. It is just the type of guy that he is. He is just focused on tonight’s game. That was it.”
Jackson won his 100th game with the Bulls in his 142nd game on March 12, 1991. Jackson, Doug Collins, Dick Motta and Scott Skiles are the only coaches in franchise history to have won 100 or more games while with the Bulls.
“Tom has been great since we all got together last year,” said Boozer. “It is a great system and we will continue to get better at it. It is well deserving. I think he puts so much work into it. You guys see him. He almost looks exhausted every day watching film. He is one of the most detailed people I have been around.”
“I always say when you put the work in and put the time in… you will be successful in whatever you do,” added Lucas of Thibodeau. “He puts the time in and the work in and it shows. Look what he has done in the past two years. He is a guy that loves the game of basketball and is still a student of the game. He is always learning something and always going into other things to make himself better as a coach. When you have a coach like that, you are going to be successful. He is humble and doesn’t expect anything less.”