The overlapping NBA and NFL seasons never allowed Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau to meet Lovie Smith, but he has admired from afar the work the former Bears coach has done.
Smith was fired Monday morning after nine seasons in Chicago.
"I think he's a great coach and I'm saddened to hear it. He had a great run, and I thought they got the most out of the team," Thibodeau said, "but it's anunfortunatepart of the business and you hate to see it. Chicago native Doc Rivers knows Lovie, always spoken veryhighlyof him so I watch their teams play and they always play hard. It's sad."
Two NBA coaches -- Mike Brown (Los Angeles Lakers) and Avery Johnson (Brooklyn) -- have already been shown the door two months into the NBA season, and Thibodeau said that speaks volumes to how organizations operate as businesses and someone must take the fall when things go poorly.
"It's pro sports," he said. "It's unfortunate. As I said, Lovie has proven to be a terrific coach and he seems like a great guy. So you hate to see anyone lose their job, but that's the nature of the beast I guess."
Hinrich (knee) out vs. Bobcats
Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich is out of the lineup this afternoon against the Bobcats. He suffered a knee injury last weekend and could not get ready to go, despite sitting out Sunday's practice to rest.
Thibodeau said his starting point guard felt better yesterday and again today, but will sit out as Nate Robinson gets the start in his place.