Chicago Bulls: Awards

Reinsdorf earns award for charity work

June, 16, 2011
6/16/11
5:12
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf will join an exclusive group when he is honored next week at the 39th annual Jefferson Awards in Washington D.C.

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Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah made the NBA All-Defensive second team.

Noah earned three first-team votes and nine second-team votes.

"I'm proud of him," Derrick Rose said.

The first team is: Dwight Howard, Magic; Rajon Rondo, Celtics; LeBron James, Heat; Kobe Bryant, Lakers and Kevin Garnett, Celtics.

Joining Noah on the second team are: Tony Allen, Grizzlies; Chris Paul, Hornets; Tyson Chandler, Mavericks and Andre Iguodala, 76ers.

Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Keith Bogans and Ronnie Brewer also received votes.


Take a look back at the top 10 moments of Derrick Rose's MVP season.

Rose's MVP speech a slam dunk

May, 3, 2011
5/03/11
10:40
PM CT
Isaacson By Melissa Isaacson
ESPNChicago.com
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LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. – It’s hard not to be jaded.

Professional athletes disappoint us all the time. We hold them up to unrealistic expectations and when they fail as role models, we shrug that we’re not surprised.

It’s hard not to be spoiled.

For a city that often wears its sports frailties as a badge of honor, we have a Stanley Cup, a World Series championship, a Super Bowl trophy and six NBA titles over the last 25 years.

Likewise, it was probably hard for some Chicago Bulls fans to give more than a passing glance to Tuesday’s announcement that Derrick Rose had been named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. Not only was it the worst-kept secret in town, but the Bulls are coming off an ugly Game 1 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the conference semifinals and Rose’s sore left ankle would seem to be of more pressing concern.

And maybe it is.

But on Tuesday, it took “a little kid from Englewood” to remind us how lucky we are.

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It's official: Rose wins MVP

May, 3, 2011
5/03/11
4:24
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com


CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is the youngest Most Valuable Player award-winner in the history of the NBA.

Rose finished with 113 first-place votes and 1,182 total points. The Magic's Dwight Howard finished second with three first-place votes and 643 points. The Heat's LeBron James was third with 522 points, including four first-place votes, and the Lakers' Kobe Bryant was fourth with 428 points and one first-place vote.

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Rose met own challenge for greatness

May, 2, 2011
5/02/11
10:36
PM CT
Isaacson By Melissa Isaacson
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- It was practically cocky, seemingly out of character.

Answering a question about his expectations for the season on Chicago Bulls media day this past September with the question, "Why can't I be the MVP of the league?"

That couldn't have been our D-Rose.

But listening to the then-21-year-old Bulls guard that day, there wasn't a hint of cockiness about it.

"Why can't I be the best player in the league?" Derrick Rose said sincerely. "I don't see why [not]? Why can't I do that? I think I work hard. I think I dedicate myself to the game and sacrifice a lot of things at a young age, and I know if I continue to do good, what I can get out of it."

It was a challenge to himself and, we can see now as we look back, to his team. A challenge for greatness, yes, but a very reasonable goal as well.

Read the entire column.

It's pronounced 'Coach of the Year'

May, 1, 2011
5/01/11
7:58
PM CT
Greenberg By Jon Greenberg
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- On his special day, Tom Thibodeau was dressed in his idea of formal wear: black sweat pants and a black track jacket with a gray T-shirt underneath.

A Thibs Tuxedo, if you will.

But the 53-year-old Thibodeau certainly dresses for his brand of success, because under his leadership, the Chicago Bulls have positioned themselves for a quick ascent in the National Basketball Association.

For years, Thibodeau's image was a workaholic assistant and a perennial candidate for top jobs. Now, after one year as a head coach, some might say he's the best coach in the league. Hey, don't believe me. Count the votes.

In his "rookie" year as a head coach, Thibodeau led the Bulls to 62 wins and a No. 1 seed in the playoffs. After that season, it was no surprise he officially was named the NBA Coach of the Year Sunday.

Just think, last fall no one knew how to pronounce his last name.

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Players: Thibodeau's honor well-earned

May, 1, 2011
5/01/11
4:23
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD, Ill. – The moment Luol Deng stepped foot in the Berto Center this summer, he knew new coach Tom Thibodeau meant business. The Chicago Bulls forward had just returned from training with the English National Team and got a quick introduction to what life under Thibodeau’s regime would entail.

"I came in here and I thought no one was in here," Deng recalled after Sunday's practice. "And I tried to just get a few shots up and he came down [from his office]. And he put me through one of the toughest workouts I've ever done. That's when I knew it was going to be no joke. And I had to make sure I was in shape for training camp."

It's that type of work ethic that has earned Thibodeau so much respect from his players this season and it's the biggest reason why the Bulls won 62 regular season games and Thibodeau was named NBA Coach of the Year on Sunday afternoon. The players have completely bought into what he is selling and trust him implicitly. That doesn't mean that they didn't think he had a couple of screws loose when they met him for the first time, though.

[+] EnlargeTom Thibodeau
US PresswireTom Thibodeau pushed the Bulls to be their best this year and his efforts earned him the Coach of the Year award.
When asked if he called some of his teammates after that initial workout and asked if Thibodeau was for real, Deng had to laugh.

"Yeah," he said. "We all did."

But Deng and his teammates grew to appreciate that attention to detail. They know that nobody works harder than the 53-year-old former career assistant. Yes, he screams and yells at them all the time, but they know that he's just trying to bring out their best.

"Every time I walk in, I look up there to see if his light is on," Deng said. "And if he's in the office, I'll pretend like I'm working hard."

Deng was kidding, but his point holds true. Thibodeau's work ethic sets the tone for the rest of the team. They know their coach works as hard as anybody and they don't want to let him down.

"Every time I come in, his light is on," Deng continued. "The video guys, the coaches, it's been one of those years. It's just every time I came in, I get on the floor, someone is ready to come down and that's something that he made sure everyone is doing. I don't know if he gets here at five or six [in the morning], but he's here early and he's the last one to leave."

Player after player has talked this season about just how much Thibodeau has meant to their team. They knew Thibodeau's determination would make them great almost from the moment each one of them met him.

"I felt that way right away when Thibs was working me out every day in the summertime," Bulls center Joakim Noah said. "That's not something that every head coach does, work out a player individually every day in the summer. To me, that meant a lot. And at the same time, I feel like your coach is your leader. And we have the personality of our coach. I think the city's proud of us right now, the way we're playing. Thibs kind of represents us; the way we play is the way he is."

Noah, like the rest of his teammates, seemed genuinely happy that his first-year head coach had earned such a big honor.

"Thibs has been through so many experiences," he said. "He's somebody who's been an eighth seed, who's played in all kind of playoff [games]. Been on the bottom, been on championship teams. He's been in all kinds of locker rooms, so I think that all that experience definitely rubs down on his players."

After watching the Bulls mature this season into the team that they've become, there's no denying that.

"He's a great coach, a phenomenal coach," Bulls forward Taj Gibson said earlier in the week. "He watches every detail, he watches you throughout the year. He'll critique your game. He's been phenomenal with me and my growth as a player. He deserves it. He turned us around, to a whole new team.”

For a man who lives and breathes basketball, nothing could mean more -- not even the award he picked up on Sunday -- than hearing something like that from one of his players.

Source: Thibodeau wins award

May, 1, 2011
5/01/11
11:00
AM CT
Greenberg By Jon Greenberg
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Tom Thibodeau will be presented with the NBA Coach of the Year award Sunday afternoon, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.

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Derrick Rose in the dark on MVP winner

April, 30, 2011
4/30/11
7:04
PM CT
By Associated Press
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD -- A heavy MVP favorite, Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose insists the NBA has not informed him he is the winner.

He said "No, not yet," on Saturday when asked if he had been told he won the award.

Read the entire story.

Thibodeau wins coach of month again

April, 14, 2011
4/14/11
3:28
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
The Chicago Bulls' Tom Thibodeau was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for the second straight month and third time this season.

Thibodeau led the Bulls to an 8-0 record in April, part of a nine-game win streak to close out the regular season. The Bulls, the No. 1 seed in the East, secured homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs on Wednesday when they beat New Jersey and San Antonio lost to Phoenix.

Thibodeau, in his first season as an NBA head coach, also won the award in January and March.

Howard can't match Rose's leadership

April, 10, 2011
4/10/11
8:57
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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ORLANDO -- Everybody has a bias when it comes to the MVP award. Everybody seems to view the award a little differently. Everybody has different criteria as to how the winner should be picked.

Should it be the most important player? The most talented? The best player on the best team? There's a litany of different views.

"To me, you could go with any one of a half-a-dozen guys and you could make a strong, strong case for them," Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy said last month. "And we're all biased in our own way. If you're from Chicago, you think it's clear that it's Derrick Rose. If you're from here, you think it's clear it's Dwight Howard. If you're in Miami you think it's obvious it's LeBron James. It's all biases. But all those guys are worthy candidates."

Van Gundy, of course, said that Howard was his pick to win the award. Just like Tom Thibodeau, and the rest of his players, have said that Rose deserves to hoist the trophy.

While it seems as if over the past few weeks Rose has become the odds-on favorite to win the MVP, Howard has picked up some support from the group that doesn't think Rose is as deserving. The argument made by most Rose dissenters is that Howard is simply more valuable to the Magic's overall success.

Their over-arching point is that as good as Rose has been, the Bulls' team defense is a bigger reason for their Eastern Conference-leading performance this season. You take Rose off of the Bulls, they say, and the Bulls could still be a playoff team because Thibodeau's players bring it defensively every single night. You take Howard off the Magic, as the argument goes, and they've got no chance to sniff a playoff berth.

[+] EnlargeDwight Howard
Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty ImagesDwight Howard is in the MVP running, but does he lead the Magic the way Derrick Rose leads the Bulls?
When it comes to the MVP vote, people deal in hypotheticals. Numbers can go one way or another. Rose is averaging 25 points and eight assists a game, while Howard is averaging 23 points and 14 rebounds.

Rose can take over games, just like he did in Sunday’s 102-99 win over the Magic (who played without Howard), and carry the Bulls offensively. When the team needs a big shot, he isn't afraid to take it, and make it. Howard, on the other hand, doesn't have nearly the offensive repertoire that Rose does, but he's the best defensive player in the league. He can be dominant ... the same way Rose can be on offense.

Voters for Rose will point to the fact that Rose's team is now 10 games better than Howard’s team. After all, it does make for a good story that Rose helped carry his team to the best record in the Eastern Conference without Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer for a combined three months.

But when it's all said and done, I think there's another reason that will lift Rose to the top. It's not because he averages a couple more points or assists than Howard; it's not even necessarily that the Bulls have more wins -- although that helps a lot. It's that as this season progressed, it was clear that Rose lapped Howard in one of the most overlooked categories of all: Maturity.

The 22-year-old Rose has it. The 25-year-old Howard simply doesn't right now.

It's evident to anyone who watches the game, no matter what your bias is. I'm not just saying that because I've covered Rose every single day this season, either. I grew up in Orlando and have followed Howard's career closely since he came into the league. I've watched him interact with his teammates, I've watched him work in games, and I can tell you without any doubt that he isn't close to the leader Rose has become.

For starters, Rose was actually on the floor Sunday afternoon scoring 39 points and giving the Bulls another win. Howard was sitting at home because he picked up his 18th technical foul of the season earlier in the week and was suspended. But it goes way beyond just that one game. Rose carries himself on the floor in a much better way than his older counterpart.

Rose may occasionally scream at an official, but he doesn't let a bad call affect his play. Howard complains after nearly every call and mentally checks out sometimes when he feels as if he's not getting his way. Both men feel like they get fouled constantly, it's just that Howard is much more demonstrative about it. For Rose, the rugged play makes him play even harder. He knows how important he is to his team's success and he isn't willing to jeopardize that in the form of any kind of ejection or suspension for arguing.

When Rose makes a mistake and his coach, Tom Thibodeau, starts screaming at him, he doesn't take it personally. He trusts that Thibodeau will put him in the right position to win and he respects that. Over the years, when Stan Van Gundy, Howard's coach, has disagreed with him about something, Howard hasn’t always taken the criticism well.

It was just two years ago that Howard publicly called out Van Gundy for not getting him the ball enough during the a postseason series against Boston, and got upset with his coach for being too negative with the players. Rose hasn't allowed anything like that to happen under his watch. He has matured into the type of player every coach dreams about. He sets a tone that everybody on the Bulls is willing to follow.

"I know, just from the little bit I know, he's a very serious guy in his approach," Van Gundy said of Rose before Sunday's game. "And I think as a result his team approaches the game very seriously also. Beyond that, in terms of his leadership skills, I wouldn't have any idea. But I think his approach tends to be mirrored by his teammates, that's for sure."

Compare that to what Van Gundy said a few moments prior regarding Howard and his leadership.

"I think where the understanding's got to be is, when you want to be a leader, how you project yourself is not just about what you think is best for you," Van Gundy said. "It's how it affects your teammates and everyone else. That's sort of a fine line with Dwight. Dwight can be loose and a little goofy at times and it is hard to say it's affecting his play because you just look at what he's done this year, but it affects his teammates. It affects their preparation and it affects their play. I think he's got to be able to weigh those two things."

So is Howard a leader?

"I think he's learning how," Van Gundy said. "I think he's trying very hard to learn how. But yeah, I think it takes time ... It's different than just going out and playing and playing well. Let's put it that way. There's a lot more to it than that and having an awareness of, when you're a guy of Dwight's caliber, an awareness of virtually everything you do and say will have an impact on your teammates. It puts a great responsibility on him. Every action, every word, everything will have an impact on his teammates. So learning that, and understanding that, then moderating how you approach things accordingly, is not an easy thing."

It has been for Rose. In just his third season, he has become the leader of the Bulls team. He may not be as vocal as teammate Noah, but he is the straw that stirs the drink in Chicago. He's the one everyone will follow and he's the one that is becoming more comfortable with getting into people's faces when he has to and speaking up, as he did at times on Sunday, because he knows his teammates will pay attention when he speaks.

"I think my teammates listen to me," Rose said. "I think I'm getting more vocal. I was just telling them that we had to keep playing, where we can't do this. I could tell from the beginning of the game and how we're going to be. We started off fast, then let them come back and get momentum of the game and stuff. We can't do that. Especially if we want to be a special team."

Howard may say those kinds of things behind closed doors; there have been stories earlier in the year about how he called out teammates for lack of effort. But do his teammates really believe him? Do they really trust a guy who has made a career image off of laughing and joking and having a good time on the court without leading his team to the promised land? Nobody knows the answer for sure ... but the difference between Rose and Howard is that in Rose's case, that's not even a question.

The Bulls have no doubt that Rose is the man who is going to lead them to bigger and better things now and in the future. He and Thibodeau have set a tone within the organization that anything less than a championship is a failure. The bar has been set high and Rose wants to raise it even higher. He wants to single-handedly bring the Bulls their seventh championship. It's the only goal on his mind. His teammates feed off of it every day.

Howard says he wants to bring a championship to Orlando ... but actions have always spoken a lot louder than words. How can someone say they are only focused on a title when they let officials control the way they react and respond during games? Rose's actions have spoken much louder than his points and assists have this season.

Rose hasn't become the odds-on favorite to win the MVP over Howard because he can dominate games. He's become the odds-on favorite to win the MVP because he's developed into the type of leader that Van Gundy and the Magic keep wishing Howard would become.

Rose would rather win title than MVP

April, 10, 2011
4/10/11
5:27
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive


ORLANDO -- Derrick Rose doesn't want to think about the MVP award, but he can't help but think about the possibilities when asked.

"It would mean a lot. It would definitely mean something," Rose said after Sunday's game. "But I think that we have a special team. I think winning a championship would mean more to me than an MVP award."

Game meant nothing?: Anyone who thinks they can draw conclusions from how the Bulls or the Magic played in Sunday afternoon’s 102-99 Bulls win obviously didn't get a chance to hear Stan Van Gundy speak before the game. Without Dwight Howard on the floor (suspension), Van Gundy didn’t think either team would take much away from the contest.

"We won't learn anything," Van Gundy said. "We won't. We'll play the game hard and hopefully do well, but we won't learn anything because obviously a good part of what we do on both ends of the floor revolves around Dwight and he won't be there so we really won't learn much."

For the Bulls part, they're just glad they picked up another win, whether Howard was on the floor or not.

"A win is a win," Rose said. "We're not worried about that. In this league, it's hard to win. Even when the best player on the other teams, when they don't play, some of the other players that come off the bench are playing for their opportunity, so sometimes [they play] even harder."

Closing out: Despite the victory, Rose was upset that his team struggled again to close out the game.

"We had them," Rose said. "We should have easily put them away, but we continue to let teams come back and it's going to hurt us if we continue to do this. But we're definitely happy with this win."

Rose knows it's a recurring problem.

"We've been doing this the whole year," he said. "Where we'll give up on teams and let them come back. We just have to learn how to put teams away, that's about it."

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau put it this way: "They played extremely well," he said of the Magic. "It was a good game for us. Our defense wasn't very good. Our rebounding was below average and we didn't take care of the ball. We were fortunate to win."

Rose feeling fine: Rose took a took a pounding on Sunday and admitted that it was one of the bigger beatings he's taken in a while, but he said he feels fine.

"You're used to it," he said. "It's basketball. You just don't want to stop because they're fouling you. If anything, it makes you go harder."

The last word: Rose, discussing the MVP race between himself and Howard.

"Dwight, he's been great. He's been doing this for years. Averaging 20 [points], like 15, 16 rebounds. He's an awesome candidate for it, but myself, I'm just trying to win games. I'm not worried about that at all. I'm just worried about us finishing games when we have a lead like we did tonight."

Triangle mastermind coached from heart

April, 4, 2011
4/04/11
8:00
PM CT
Isaacson By Melissa Isaacson
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Perhaps the one blessing in an otherwise frustrating recovery from the stroke he suffered two years ago this month is that Tex Winter can still watch the game he loves. And still dissect it.

He can’t talk about it much. Nor can he write down what he is thinking. “But you give him a piece of paper and tell him to draw out what they’re doing in the game on TV, and he’ll diagram the play,” said Winter’s son Brian.

The arcs and lines, x’s and o’s, form a sort of basketball poetry that the 89-year-old created and immersed himself in throughout a storied coaching career, earning him a well-deserved, if tardy, induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this summer.

Read the entire column.

Thibodeau named East coach of month

April, 1, 2011
4/01/11
3:01
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month on Friday.

The Bulls closed out March with a 13-3 record and hold a two-game lead on the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls also won their first division title since the 1997-98 season, the year of their last NBA title.

The Los Angeles Lakers' Phil Jackson won the award for the Western Conference, after finishing the month with a league-best 12-1 record.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
20.5 3.2 1.8 39.8
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 12.0
AssistsD. Rose 4.9
StealsJ. Butler 1.8
BlocksP. Gasol 2.2