With his no-nonsense coaching style and defensive mentality, many have wondered how Tom Thibodeau would handle the coaching duties for the Eastern Conference in next weeks All-Star Game in Orlando.
The game is known as more of an offensive showcase than a grind-it-out half court affair; defense is always almost focused on in the All-Star Games final period when players try and focus on getting the win rather than play to crowd.
Can Thibodeau ease up on his principles for just one game?
I think hes going to run the hell out of them, joked Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "I think hell have a good speech for them and theyll have a hard practice.
Thibodeau spent three seasons on Rivers staff in Boston and knows from experience the competitor that his former assistant coach is, but noted that he would probably relax, but still want to win.
I think hell be more relaxed but still standing on the sidelines and if I was Thibs, I play Luol Deng and Derrick Rose at least 47 minutes, said Rivers. I think that would be terrific.
Thibs will be great, he continued. A lot of people keep thinking things about Thibs and he keeps doing the right things. Hes a great coach. Hell have fun. I told him Ill be in town and dont call me, but hell be great. Thibs has been through this.
Rivers offered a story about how in the fourth quarter of the 2008 All-Star Game in New Orleans, Thibodeau kept reminding him how the pay for the winning coaching staff was doubled. The Eastern Conference All-Stars eventually won the contest 134-128 over the West.
Thibs kept saying hey, we want to win this game. Dont you forget it, said Rivers. I wonder if hell do the same now that hes the head coach. I think he will if I know my Thibs.