For the first time in almost eight months, Knicks officially has a permanent head coach.
On the morning of the first day of the relaunch of the 22 NBA teams, the Knicks restarted their own franchise, announcing the hiring of Master of Defense Tom Thibodeau, his former assistant coach since the glory days of the 1990s.
Knicks President Leon Rose has been close to Thibodeau for several years as a client of the Creative Artists Agency, which Rosa ran.
“Tom Thibodeau is a proven winner who gets the most out of the players and teams he coached,” Rose said in a release. “It will bring leadership, accountability and a hard-working mentality to our organization. we look forward to bringing him back to New York and look forward to working with him and his staff for a successful future. ”
On Saturday, Thibodeau agreed to a five-year deal. Terms have not been announced, but some league insiders believe the deal could cost at least $ 25 million ̵1; even with a pandemic discount, which is likely to lead to the debut of Thibodeau Knicks, which will take place without fans.
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“I am grateful for the opportunity to return to this historic franchise as head coach and work with a talented front office, in whom I have great confidence and respect,” Thibodeau said in a release. “I know what New York is like when the Knicks are successful and there is nothing like it. I look forward to being a part of what we are building here, and I can’t wait to work.
Despite allegations that the demanding style of 62-year-old Thibodeau does not match the millennial players, the Knicks, who missed the playoffs in seven straight seasons, add the coach with the best winning percentage (.589, 352-246) of any head coach hired for the last two seasons.
The former Bulls and Timberwolves head coach won the 2011 NBA Coach of the Year from Chicago, who led five straight playoff spots. Then Thibodeau broke a 13-year drought in the Minnesota playoffs. However, there are accusations that he did not contact the young players of Minnesota, and he was fired in January 2019.
Thibodeau is likely to receive an early gift to team mini-camps in mid-August for eight non-Orlando clubs.
Thibodeau trusts assistants Andy Greer, Larry Greer and Dis Yoshimoto, whom he would like to hire, but Knicks vice president William Wesley is trying to add more diverse staff. Mike Woodson, a former Knix head coach, and Mike Miller, their recent interim coach, are strong candidates for the Thibodeau position.
The Knicks interviewed a total of 11 coaches, a search that began on June 4 after the NBA announced that the team would not be part of the restart. And the Knicks waited almost before the suspension to make their post official after owner James Dolan fired David Fizdale on December 4.