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NBA ALL-STAR WEEKEND


February 24, 2012


Tom Thibodeau


ORLANDO, FLORIDA

Q.  Can you tell me about the first time you met Arne Duncan.
TOM THIBODEAU:¬† Yeah, I believe it was in the summer, and he was coming‑‑ was he coming back to school?¬† He had taken a year off to work on his thesis.¬† You know, I had heard a lot about him.¬† I watched some film, and we went to the gym immediately, and I was just amazed at not only the type of player but the type of person that he is.¬† You know, and obviously he was a great Ivy League player, could have played at a much higher level, but he's just terrific, passionate about basketball and education.¬† It's a great story.

Q.  And what year was this?
TOM THIBODEAU:¬† I was working at Harvard.¬† It was in‑‑ I believe it was maybe '87, '86 or '87, somewhere in there.

Q.  Now that we're finally here in Orlando, what's going to be your approach?
TOM THIBODEAU:¬† It's going to be great.¬† I'm looking forward to it.¬† I had the good fortune to participate in a couple All‑Star Games as an assistant coach, so I think I have a pretty good understanding of what it's all about.¬† Basically dole out some minutes and get out of the way.¬† It's going to be a lot of fun.¬† This is really about the fans.¬† The players will put on a great show, and ultimately it usually starts off as a lot of fun.¬† These guys are ultra‑competitive, and down the stretch, though, they'll all be trying to win.

Q.  Did Doc give you any pointers on how to conduct a practice?
TOM THIBODEAU:  No, he was great.  He said the added feature now is you're doing it together, so you've got both teams out there.  He said it's a lot of fun.  We're looking forward to it.  It's 24 great players that will be out there, and we're going to have a lot of fun with it.

Q.  Do you feel like you got a chance to know some of the players in a different way this weekend?
TOM THIBODEAU:  It's funny, in some ways it is a lot different because when you are competing against them, you don't get to see them as people.  You're not looking at them that way.  And then once you're in this type of setting, you get to spend some time with them, so you see them differently.  So I'm looking forward to it.  I'm looking forward to the same on Sunday, too.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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