Tom Thibodeau’s “slander” continues – and it’s not just the media.
Former Pacers forward David West won the Knicks, saying they should have gone with a junior coach who treated the players better.
West told The Athletic that he witnessed how Thibodeau mismanaged players at Timberwolf during the 2017 preseason. Thibodeau was released in January 2019.
The West’s remarks come a day after Tibodo’s friend Jeff Van Gundi said the media had perpetuated a “big slander” against the new Phoenix coach.
“My thing about hiring the Knicks is what I’ve seen (while) competing against the (Thibodeau) Timberwolves; anyone who̵7;s honest with you, they’ve seen a way to make that worse,” West said. “And the optics of this situation, in my opinion, looked like this:” Yes, it’s already there. Like, they’re done. “
“We went to China with this crew (in 2017) and played two games against them, and it’s like“ Yo. ”The guys didn’t respond, and I love,“ Man, it’s pre-season. We haven’t even gotten to the league yet, and these guys aren’t responding. “
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The West’s reference to 2017 is ironic, given that it was the Thibodeau season that thwarted the 13-year drought of the franchise playoff franchise. When he was released, reports emerged that his relationship with young stars such as Carl Anthony and Andrew Wiggins was weak.
“From that point of view, and then, looking at the fact that the Knicks are a young team, they have a lot of young (players) that I feel are (are) young, talented guys,” said West, who played for 15 years. in the NBA and retired after that 2017-18 season.
“I just didn’t like to draw them to this style. I thought there were coaches who didn’t get similar opportunities (who were better suited for it). “
The Knicks interviewed 11 candidates, including young assistants Jason Kidd, Jamal Mosley, Ime Udoka and Will Hardy.
“Knicks, in my opinion, is a big job, regardless of the state of the franchise. It’s still the Knicks, “said West.” I just thought they could go the other way. And they brought in someone young who could treat the players better. You can ask the guys, someone who witnessed this mess. in Minnesota, will tell you that … it wasn’t on the players. That’s all I’ll say. “
On Tuesday, Sonia coach Monty Williams, who worked with Thibodeau on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, denied the sentiment against 62-year-old Thibodeau.
“I laugh at all these people who say he can’t develop younger players and he carries his teams,” Williams told SiriusXM Radio. “Look at the success of his programs, the teams and the results show.”