ATLANTA -- Like most other Bulls fans, Derrick Rose can see that Tom Thibodeau is wired a little differently. He has basketball recall the likes of which Rose, and the rest of the world, have never seen.
“He always tells stories about the Knicks,” Rose said before Tuesday night’s game against the Hawks. “Saying that they were in a situation where guys weren't playing up [to where they should be], or certain plays that they didn't call. Or defensively, in a Knicks game where a guy didn't follow an assignment and it cost them a championship, stuff like that. He always throws things out there like that and makes you think about it.”
Thibodeau’s ability to remember intricate details from years gone by, and keep his team focused in the process, is something that thoroughly impresses his team.
“Me and Joakim [Noah] were talking about that [Monday] night.” Rose said. “I've never played for a coach that was that focused. Where there's nothing else. No kids. No wife. No leisure time just to watch TV. I'm dead serious. There's nothing else but winning. I never in my life have played for a coach like that.”
He always seems to have them on the right track.
"He always says if we're messing around in practice or something, he always reminds us that if we want to be that team [that we talk about becoming] we can't be doing what we're doing. We can't be taking any steps back. We've got to play with an edge every single game."
Aren’t they worried that their coach is too concerned about basketball?
“He's healthy,” Rose said with a laugh. “We're winning. He seems like he's enjoying himself so I'm fine with it.”
Rose does seem a little concerned that his coach doesn’t seem to have much a social life, though.
“I've never heard about Thibs being out eating anywhere,” he said. “Or never ran into him eating anywhere. Don't you know when you go into a restaurant [they'd say] 'Your coach just left.' Never. No matter what city we're in. I won't see him until the next day and I've never been around another coach that's like that. Never. Or never met a coach that's like that.”
It’s clear when you talk to Rose and his teammates that Thibodeau’s idiosyncrasies are what sets him apart. A social life can wait … until at least after the playoffs.
“As long as we keep winning,” Rose said, still smiling. “He can keep this going.”