The New York Knicks have been linked to many head coaching candidates, but it’s now being reported the team will bring in Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau has spent eight seasons as an NBA head coach with both the Bulls and Timberwolves.
The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Tom Thibodeau Being Tabbed as the Knicks Next Coach
Thibodeau has a strong record as a head coach. In his eight seasons, he’s gone 352-246. Most of what carries his winning percentage however was his time in Chicago. During that time he went 255-139.
During his time in Chicago, he also won NBA Coach of the Year in the 2010-11 season.
While his career record is good, there are criticisms of Thibodeau. The main one has been how hard he coaches. At times in Chicago, he was criticized for not getting players enough rest, which caused them to wear down throughout the season.
He’s also been criticized for practicing too hard throughout the season, which similarly causes players to wear down over the long season.
The good part about Thibodeau is that he can build a culture of taking things seriously and getting his team to focus on the little things. That’s why he’s been able to win at times and got Minnesota to the playoffs in one of his two and a half years there.
How Things Will Work in New York
How will all of this play out in New York? Well, given the history of the Knicks since the turn of the century, probably not good. New York hasn’t drafted well, and something they try and rely on is signing free agents.
With James Dolan being the owner of the team, they also haven’t been able to get stars to want to go to New York, with the only exceptions being Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. It’s hard to imagine putting Thibodeau on the sidelines is going to make free agents flock to New York.
It’s certainly possible Thibodeau has adjusted his coaching style since being in Minnesota. However, don’t expect too much of that.
Overall, seeing this pairing flaming out after two or three seasons would not be surprising. The problem is, it would be difficult to figure out who to pin the blame on. When this doesn’t work out eventually it should probably fall more on Dolan. That’s just based on the history of the team since he’s owned it.
It’s fairly surprising the Knicks didn’t decide to go with a younger head coach who might mesh better with their young roster. However, Thibodeau does deserve a chance to try and build a hard-working culture.
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