The only reason I ask that is because coming here [in 2009], the city, the organization had an idea of who you were. But I think after going through what you have gone through and how you've handled adversity, you are looked at totally different now from the way you were when you came in here. There were expectations from everyone, but personally, I think you have surpassed any expectations anyone had of you when you took this job. As a city, I think you are making that Chicago coaches Mount Rushmore with Mike Ditka and Phil Jackson and George Halas. I think we are looking at you differently. That's why I asked that question. To see if you feel as if you've change, because we think you've changed.
Well, I've always believed that you have to be mentally tough whenever you face adversity. And it's probably the most important characteristic there is in life in terms of, you know, life. A lot of things happen and it is how you respond to those things that happen. So, hopefully we have a team full of guys like that. It's not just me, you know? Fortunately we have great character on our team. Oftentimes good things come out of that. Like in our situation, we could have chosen not to fight. But we made a decision as a team that, 'Hey, look, this is what we are going to do.' We're gonna fight and good things will happen. And that's exactly what happened.
Joakim [Noah] said, against Miami the other day, it's like 'playing with hate.' I get that from a player's standpoint. Sometimes it is necessary. But is there a such thing as 'coaching with hate' or is that something that doesn't even exist in the way you approach the game?
'Hate's' a pretty strong word, so ...
But I think there's a competitive hatred that is good. There's something there. We are all competing for the same thing. I think we respect Miami for what they've done, they are the defending champions, so everyone is chasing them until you can knock them off. You know, I love competition, and I want a team full of competitors.
I heard you once say that you associate the character of this team with 'fight.' Does that ever wear down? You know what I'm saying? Like over the course of a season or a year, is it hard to keep that or once that characteristic is established, it just stays the same?
Nah, I think you have to look for it, I think it's in 'em. You want guys that have the will and the determination to overcome whatever adversity they are going to face. I think we have a team full of those guys.
With everything that's gone on, not just during this season but in your career here, have you ever had a 'why me?' moment? Not really bad luck, but just a time when you were by yourself and you were just like, 'Damn, not again! Not this!'? Because you haven't shown it publicly.
No. I don't look at [things] that way. I just look at it like, 'OK, this is the next challenge.' You know, I think we have a lot of things going for us and so, I think when you are with the right group of [players], you know that injuries are a part of the NBA game and it's [about] how do you respond to those things? Everyone has to deal with them. You're just looking for guys that are going to make a commitment to play for each other, for the team, put the team first, willing to sacrifice and do things together. I think if you look at great teams in any sport, they make that type of commitment to each other.