Tom Thibodeau coached the Bulls against the Grizzlies Monday only hours after his father's funeral. The Bulls responded with a 95-91 win.
Thomas J. Thibodeau Sr., 83, died Christmas Day when the Bulls defeated the Nets in a nationally televised game as part of an NBA holiday special broadcast. Coach Thibodeau traveled to New Britain, Conn., twice for visitation. Thibodeau orchestrated two practices and coached Saturday's loss to the Mavericks before attending his father's funeral Monday morning.
"I think [coaching the day of the funeral was] something my father would've wanted," he said. "And our family, pretty much once I saw that they were good, I felt good about it."
Thibodeau Sr. is survived by his wife Ann, two sisters, two daughters, three sons, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His obituary stated he had a love for basketball and was an "avid fan of St. Bonaventure and the Bulls."
"He kind of kept it to himself, but he's still a competitor and wants to win," guard Jimmy Butler said. "This is another thing he loves, but we know what he's feeling, so we'll be there for him."
Butler scored 26 points in the victory to go with four rebounds and two assists in 41 minutes.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Thibodeau family.