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ORLANDO, Fla. -- With the Chicago Bulls' 85-59 win over the Orlando Magic on Monday night, Tom Thibodeau became the fastest head coach in NBA history to reach 100 regular-season victories. It was a record he tried to take in stride.
"I'm just glad we won," he said. "When you look at stuff like that, it says that you have good players. We have great guys, too. They're not only good players, but they're great players. I'm very fortunate to be coaching this team."
While Thibodeau tried to downplay his accomplishment, his players went out of their way to praise the achievement.
"I know he's going to say it doesn't mean anything, but I think it's a great accomplishment," Bulls center Joakim Noah said. "He's the hardest working guy I've ever been around and he deserves it."
Luol Deng echoed those sentiments.
"I'm glad it's him because he works so hard," Deng said. "He really deserves it. I've never seen anyone work as hard as he does. We all believe in him. As hard as he works and whenever he comes up and has a game plan, we all buy into because we know how much effort he puts into studying every opponent."Carlos Boozer, who scored a team-high 24 points on Monday, saw Thibodeau's work ethic pay off from the moment he signed with the Bulls as a free agent last summer.
"It's great, man," he said of Thibodeau's mark. "He's one of the most detailed people I've been around and it's been a fun ride. Knowing that, at the same time, none of us are satisfied. We want a whole lot more. And it starts with him, he wants a whole lot more too."
Boozer believes the team-first, hard-working attitude that Thibodeau exhibits permeates through the Bulls locker room.
"He's not about himself," Boozer said. "He's about the team. That trickles down from everybody. From coach Thibs to (Derrick) Rose to the rest of us, everybody's about the team, nobody talks about themself really."
With the win, Thibodeau now has a 100-30 regular-season record as a head coach with the Bulls. The previous record was held by Avery Johnson, who accomplished the feat in 131 games as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks.
"I always say when you put the work in, when you put the time in, you'll be successful in whatever you do," Bulls point guard John Lucas III said. "And he puts the work in and the time in and it shows. Look what he's done in the past two years. He's a guy that loves the game of basketball and he's still a student of the game of basketball. He's always learning something, always going into other things, trying to make us better and also make himself better as a coach. So when you have a coach like that, he's going to be successful."