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Tom Thibodeau growing tired of distractions

TORONTO — Tom Thibodeau has not exactly been in his comfort zone.

Then again, whenever the Bulls coach has to take time out of his day to discuss topics unrelated to the X’s and O’s of what occurs on the basketball court, it’s seemingly draining for him.

So the idea of another media session discussing the week-long distraction that has been Derrick Rose, well, Thibodeau was just about reaching the end.

After five minutes of Rose talk during the Thursday pre-game, Thibodeau was finally asked about Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah continuing to learn how to play together, and went out of his way to make his feelings known.

“It’s a great question and I’m glad you asked it because sometimes the questions are all about what Derrick said,’’ Thibodeau said. “There’s a good story about the guys that are here and out there. Pau is one of those stories.’’

In Thibodeau’s world, distraction away from basketball is a big no-no. And while he reiterated that he talks to Rose every day about many topics, his latest message to his point guard was don’t get lost in where the focus should be.

“Again, I’m not going to get wrapped up in that,’’ Thibodeau said, when asked if he was disappointed that Rose didn’t back off his comments during the Thursday morning shootaround. “To me, for him, as I told him, I don’t want him to get sidetracked.

“Don’t get lost in all that other stuff. Make sure you’re concentrating on the task at hand. He’s going to be asked a million questions. He’s navigating through coming off two-and-a-half years off. It’s a lot. I think everyone has to take a step back, be patient and let him go through this process. He’s going to special again. Just be patient.’’

Thibodeau’s hope for now is that with one home game left, and then a long West Coast trip, normalcy is right around the corner.

“He’s a lightning rod right now,’’ Thibodeau said of Rose. “The same people that were praising him in the MVP year are the same ones that are criticizing him now. And when he starts playing great again, that’ll be the same people that are praising him again. So for him, don’t get wrapped up – whether it’s criticism or praise – don’t get wrapped up in either one of those things.’’