Thibodeau laments firing of Lovie

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Monday he was saddened by the firing of Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith.

Smith was fired on Monday after nine seasons. The Bears finished this season 10-6 and did not reach the playoffs.

"I didn't (know him), but I've watched him from afar," Thibodeau said prior to Monday's game with the Charlotte Bobcats. "I think he's a great coach. I'm saddened to hear it. He had a great run. You know 10-6; I thought they got the most out of team.

"It's the unfortunate part of the business. You hate to see it. Doc Rivers knows Lovie and always spoken very highly of him. I watched their teams play, and they always played hard. It's saddening."

Thibodeau knows it's the nature of the business.

"It's pro sports," Thibodeau said. "It's unfortunate. Lovie's proven to be a great coach, and he seems like a great guy. You hate to see anyone lose their job, but that's the nature of the beast, I guess."