CHICAGO -- The mention of Ron Adams' name has become an uncomfortable topic for Tom Thibodeau and Gar Forman.
As much as both men want to move on from the messy departure of the popular assistant coach, the future of the organization could be shaped, in part, by the decision not to bring Adams back. When asked Wednesday about the notion that Forman and Thibodeau have the worst coach/GM relationship in the league, the coach didn't exactly quash that line of thinking.
"People are going to read into things the way they want to," Thibodeau said on ESPN Chicago 1000's "Waddle and Silvy Show." "We’re fine. We’re both thinking about next season and all we can do to win."
That's the problem for Thibodeau and Forman moving forward. Obviously, both men want to win, and no matter how big of a rift there may be between Thibodeau and the front office, all parties involved want the Bulls to compete for a championship this season. But from here on out every move that each man makes will be scrutinized more than ever. Fans will wonder who is calling the shots and whether the coach and the GM are in lockstep regarding personnel moves.
"We're in constant communication," Forman said last week during the Vegas Summer League. "We have a high level of communication and I think a high level of trust and we continue to work together to try to make this team the best that it can be. Our working relationship has been good and continues to be good and we continue to communicate on the things we feel we need to do in order to continue to improve."
Has the coaching staff improved, though?
Adams was one of the most highly regarded assistants in the league and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Thibodeau wasn't exactly pleased that his lead assistant was told not to come back. Still, all parties involved seem to be focused on moving forward -- a mantra Thibodeau has repeated in recent weeks. While Forman admits that the Bulls are "still discussing" the possibility of adding another coach to fill Adams' spot, Thibodeau sounds like a man who knows that another move isn't going to be made.
"I feel really good about our staff," he said. "These guys have grown. We have a rather big staff so we'll see."
That's a good way to sum up the ongoing relationship between one of the most successful coaches in the league and his front office as well. Everybody appears to have the right attitude in July -- but what happens when there is a disagreement over something in April?