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Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau on future: 'I expect to be here'

Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau says he expects to be with the team next season

Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said he expects to be team’s coach next season after Chicago was eliminated from the playoffs with a 94-73 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.

Thibodeau has been the subject of speculation for weeks about his job status in Chicago and his name has been linked to the New Orleans Pelicans, which fired coach Monty Williams this week after five seasons.

"Until they tell me I'm not [the coach], I expect to be here," Thibodeau said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "So that's the way I'm approaching it."

Thibodeau, who still has two years and almost $9 million left on his contract with Chicago, said he hasn't thought about what he would do if other teams show interest in him.

Whatever happens to Thibodeau, he has the support of his players.

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"Thibs, we grew a bond together. With him being [an assistant coach] on USA Basketball,” Bulls point guard Derrick Rose said. “Him coming out to L.A. to check up on me after my surgeries when I was working out out there. I think we really have a bond, so it's not up to my decision. I loved him as a coach."

“If you want to be coached and pushed, Thibs is the coach for you," forward Taj Gibson said. "If you don’t want to get better, this isn’t the team for you."

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Thibodeau was hired by the team in 2010 and has a 255-139 record in his five seasons in Chicago. He won the NBA’s coach of the year in his first season and has led the Bulls to the playoffs each season.

- Scooby Axson