On the same day that a league source confirmed the Bulls indeed landed San Antonio assistant Jim Boylen to join the staff of newly-named head coach Fred Hoiberg, there was still some clean-up going on with the old regime.
Specifically, just how paranoid the Bulls front office was in the final weeks of the Tom Thibodeau era.
While it was reported that the front office did have security escorting Thibodeau throughout his clean-up process on the day he was fired, and eventually out of the building, there had been extra eyes on assistant coach Andy Greer and video coordinator Dice Yoshimoto for weeks.
Both were also dismissed along with Thibodeau, but it was Yoshimoto that had the organization the most concerned, as they were under the belief that he was gathering e-mails and information that, according to the source, “would embarrass a lot of people and show the level of dysfunction going on.’’
“It was like some James Bond stuff going on,’’ the source also said on Sunday, insisting that computers and cellphones were combed through in order for the organization to try and pin down what Yoshimoto was up to.
The source said that while there was believed to be nothing significant found by the front office, they were still under the belief that it existed and was hidden.
That’s also why Jerry Reinsdorf’s statement on the day Thibodeau was fired had a definite read between the lines message in it.
“Teams that consistently perform at the highest levels are able to come together and be unified across the organization-staff, players, coaches, management and ownership,’’ Reinsdorf said. “When everyone is on the same page, trust develops and teams can grow and succeed together. Unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture.’’
It was no secret that both sides felt there were leaks going on throughout the season, especially from a front office that had been rumored to be courting Hoiberg for over a year, as well as one that back in training camp had no problem trying to turn Thibodeau’s players against him.
Even on the day he was fired, between Reinsdorf, general manager Gar Forman and VP of basketball operations John Paxson, the three had no problem trying to poison Thibodeau’s reputation as he was shoved out the door.
“[Thibodeau] has a provision in his contract that keeps him from soiling the organization,’’ the source said. “They knew there would be no retaliation.’’
Not when Thibodeau was still owed $9 million for two more seasons.
As for where things currently stand with Thibodeau, he’s been doing some analysis for ESPN, while waiting to see if a coaching job opens up that interests him.
Meanwhile, the Bulls and Hoiberg continued gathering a new staff with the Boylen hiring, as the assistant will come in and help architecture an NBA defense to try and stay at the level Thibodeau-coached defenses set.
Boylen joined Gregg Popovich’s staff in 2013, after he spent two seasons next to Frank Vogel on the Indiana Pacers bench, and came up through the college ranks at Michigan State, eventually named the head coach at the University of Utah from 2007-11.
As far as the rest of the Bulls staff, former Thibodeau assistants Adrian Griffin, Ed Pinckney and Mike Wilhelm all went through interviews with Hoiberg, according to a source, as decisions were still being made by both parties.