As the NBA scrimmages are underway down in Orlando, the New York Knicks have hired former Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau to a five year contract that is expected to be signed in the coming days. A big reason as to why Thibodeau was hired by New York was because of his long relationship with Leon Rose and Wiliam Wesley from their time at CAA together. While I thought the best option available was former Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, as Brian Geltzeiler of hoopscritic.com reported Kenny Atkinson wasn’t interested in the Knicks opening because he thought he would have better options available to him. With that in mind, Thibodeau was by far the next best candidate available. Thibodeau has had positive results right away as a head coach as he consistently had winning seasons in Chicago and broke Minnesota’s 14 year playoff drought. Furthermore, Thibs is a coach that stresses defense which is an area that the Knicks have lacked. Plus, he is a coach that takes no nonsense from players. This type of mindset will help the Knickerbockers because they haven’t had a head coach that has had positive results right away and one that emphasizes defense. While a lot of people will point to how Thibodeau overworks his players, it should be mentioned that he works his players to try to win. In this case he isn’t going to tolerate being in the lottery every year which is something that the Knicks have become accustomed to. On top of that, he will also work with players to try to develop them and get the most out of them. This is something that the Knicks have not had for a while. Thibs will be able to see if the entire Knicks roster can be developed or not. For example, he will be able to see if Kevin Knox, who has been a bust so far, is the real deal or not. Furthermore, while it might be true that free agents will turn away from New York because of how Thibs overworks players, the Knicks shouldn’t be chasing after free agents as they are still rebuilding. Instead, they should be building through the draft and if the Knicks are able to make progress like the Nets did, then free agents will take notice and have interest in coming to the Knicks.
As Ian Begley of SNY reported, It is expected that interim coach Mike Miller and former Knicks head coach from 2012-2014 Mike Woodson will be assistant coaches on Tom Thibodeau’s coaching staff. It will be interesting to see if Thibodeau will be able to turn the Knicks into relevance for the first time since the 2012-2013 season.