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Gregg Popovich Comes To Tom Thibodeau's Defense

By Cody Westerlund-

(CBS) After a report surfaced early in the week that indicated Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was on the "hot seat" right now, it was rather quickly refuted by both common sense -- who could Chicago hire right now who's better than Thibodeau? -- and when Bulls general manger Gar Forman told the Sun-Times that it was a "non-story."

Nevertheless, as the Bulls have struggled in losing six of their last eight games, talk has persisted that Thibodeau isn't reaching the players in his locker room.

In the mind of the best coach in the NBA, that storyline is non-sense.

"What you heard, what you guys reported, that's not going to happen because he's not going to lose any team," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Thursday evening ahead a matchup at the United Center. "I think you guys just have to have stories -- if somebody loses a few games, there's got to be a reason. So I guess that's the one that was picked. Sometimes players don't listen. Timmy (Duncan) stopped listening to me a long time ago. I don't even coach him. You guys think I'm kidding. He just plays. I talk to him once in a while.

"Sometimes, some guys don't want to hear it. But as far as the team and being lost and that kind of thing, that's not what's happening here."

Asked how he's stayed sane amid the struggles and a stressful week, Thibodeau offered a moment of introspection.

"At the end of the day, we all really only answer to ourselves," Thibodeau said. "So I think only you know whether you put everything you have into something. Once you've done that, that's all you can do. I've no regrets. I feel good. Get ready for the next one."

Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.

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