According to the Chicago-Sun Times, a source said that the Bulls offered Thibodeau a three-year deal Saturday morning and Thibodeau accepted a short time later. No official announcement will be made until after the NBA Finals, due to league restrictions on major announcements being made during the series.
The 50-year-old Celtics assistant is expected to remain with Boston until the NBA Finals are over.
Thibodeau met with Bulls executive vice president John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman in Los Angeles on the eve of Game 1. He apparently impressed them so much that he quickly became the favorite for the job.
Celtics head coach Doc Rivers would not confirm reports that Thibodeau has accepted the position, but "hopes it's true" because he believes Thibodeau deserves the job.
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"I think he's the best candidate out there. I've said that for three years now," Rivers told reporters Saturday.
Considered one of the NBA's top defensive minds, Thibodeau was also a candidate for head-coaching gigs in New Orleans and New Jersey. He was reportedly offered the Hornets' job more than a week ago before opting for the Bulls' position instead.
"I'm sure he'll be a great coach," Rajon Rondo said. "He's a great defensive coach for us now. He's very vocal. He talks to the players and has a great relationship with his players."
Kevin Garnett also offered praise for Thibodeau, complimenting his work ethic and passion for defense. "He watches an uncountable amount of film," Garnett said. "He's a guy that loves his job. He does it with passion. If he is not with us next year, he's well deserving of it, as well as anybody else on our coaching staff."
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