- Nick Friedell, Chicago Bulls beat reporter
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A Yahoo! column noted recently that the relationship between Thibodeau and Bulls general manager Gar Forman, who fired Thibodeau's friend and assistant coach Ron Adams this summer, had become "toxic," according to a source. The report also raised the possibility that Thibodeau won't make it through all four years of the new contract he signed last spring.
"How can anyone make that claim?" Paxson said Thursday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "He's in the first year of his new deal. How can anyone make that claim? It's like you're just throwing a dart, you're just throwing a dart at the wall saying 'Well, it could happen.' That's the thing that you just get ... there's so much noise outside of this thing. All I know is that Gar, Tom and myself work together everyday. And we communicate together everyday. And we are on the same page with what we're doing. We love our basketball team, we love the character of our players. We think that if we stay healthy, we think we're going to put ourselves in a position to compete."
The Bulls will have to overcome a lot of challenges to win a championship this season but Paxson doesn't view a perceived rift between Thibodeau and the front office as one of them.
"And we know that Miami's the the two-time defending world champion and they deserve respect and credit and we give them that," Paxson said. "We know that Brooklyn's going to be a very, very good team. We know Indiana is very talented, you just go down the list. But we're in this thing together and we know that, we accept it and we're on the same page in terms of what we want to achieve so ... people can write and say what they want and have their opinions -- that's terrific and they should and they will. But for anyone to say that Tom's not going to finish out his contract ... who can say that at any point? It's hard for me to process right now."
Chicago Bulls executive vice president John Paxson said Thursday that, despite a recent report to the contrary, the front office and coach Tom Thibodeau are on the same page.