Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
With Thibodeau Out, Iowa State’s Hoiberg Remains Favorite for Bulls Job
With Tom Thibodeaunow officially out as coach of the Chicago Bulls, Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg becomes the favorite to replace him.
“It’s when we find the right guy,” Bulls GM Gar Forman said Thursday when asked the timeframe on hiring a new coach. “Whether that’s a day, a week, a month, we’re going to do what’s right for the organization”
He added: “We haven’t begun to meet or put a list together … or made any contacts at this point.”
Forman declined to get into specific names and said no updates would be provided along the way, but Hoiberg remains the perceived favorite.
“The job will be Fred Hoiberg’s if he wants it,” Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports said recently on the Spiegel and Goff show in Chicago. “There’s not going to be any competition for him. Now, it’s conceivable that Fred Hoiberg decides to stay at Iowa State, but if they make a change and Tom Thibodeau is out, Fred Hoiberg is really the only candidate for this job from the Bulls’ perspective. But that doesn’t guarantee that he’s going to do it. I know he has already had to give it thought because it’s real.”
According to a report in the Ames Tribune, Hoiberg also told Long Island forward Cheick Diallo during recruiting that he couldn’t guarantee he would be the coach at Iowa State in 2015-16. A source close to Diallo told SNY.tv they were aware Hoiberg could leave for NBA but he never explicitly said it during recruiting. Diallo ultimately chose Kansas over Iowa State, Kentucky, St. John’s and Pitt.
Holberg has long been linked to his former team and is tight withForman. Sources told SNY.tv the Bulls have already talked to Holberg this season.
“He has always said from day one that his lifelong goal has been to coach in the NBA,” Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said of Holberg, according to the Ames Tribune’s Travis Hines. “It’s for him to decide when that part of his life he wants to activate.
“Now it’s just strictly a decision for him and their family personally, not what he wants to do because he’s made that clear. [The NBA is] what he wants to do. It’s a matter of when he wants to do it.”
Hoiberg is coming off heart surgery and would obviously have to feel he is healthy enough to take on an NBA job, but it appears nearly inevitable that he will have an opportunity to consider coaching the Bulls.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.