I've heard Doc Rivers speak on several occasions and one message that always resonates is the importance of developing trust between players and coaches. There are daily instances where trust can be developed, strengthened, weakened or destroyed. To follow are excerpts of an article written by Sean Highkin for BleacherReport.com that shows on particular way that the Bulls Tom Thibodeau showed his star player Derrick Rose that he trusted him -- even during a slump:
After an awful first three quarters, not once did Tom Thibodeau think about benching Derrick Rose.
It would have been a completely understandable decision. Thirty-six minutes into the Bulls’ 106-101 Thursday night win over the Denver Nuggets, Rose was 2-of-14 from the field with four points and no sign of breaking out of his shooting slump anytime soon.
Thibodeau’s faith was rewarded with a 13-point fourth quarter. Rose got to the rim and to the foul line, and he provided the spark as the Bulls won a game in which they’d trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half.
Rose has said for the last several days, as his shooting has cratered, that he wasn’t going to change anything he was doing, that he was sure he’d play himself out of it. It’s a mentality that’s been instilled in Rose, and in every other Bulls player, by their coach.
“Players go through it,” Thibodeau said after the game. “He won’t be the first or the last player to go through a slump. As long as he’s shooting the ball properly and they’re the right shots, it happens.”
Thibodeau has a few pet phrases that he likes to repeat at basically any opportunity, and they’re a telling window into his worldview. One is, “You can’t get too high, you can’t get too low.” He’s never been one to panic, and he isn’t going to change his rotation because of a couple of bad performances.
Another of Thibs’ favorite sayings is, “The magic is in the work.” Like all successful NBA coaches, he stresses process over results. If one game doesn’t go the way he wants it to, he’ll live with it if he sees his players playing the right way.
That’s why, for as hard as he works his players, for as much of a drill sergeant as he is, he’s never lost his locker room during his five seasons in Chicago. His players know he has their backs as long as they put in the hours.
“That’s the thing about Thibs,” backup point guard Aaron Brooks said at practice last week. “Some coaches contradict themselves, but he’s always consistent with what he tells us. So even if you don’t always like it, you have to respect it.”
You can read the entire column here.