The New York Knicks are finalizing a five-year deal to hire Tom Thibodeau as head coach spot. Since former head coach Jeff Van Gundy left in 2001, the Knicks have had 13 coaches. The Knicks are hoping that Thibodeau will be the coach to put the program back on its feet.
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A Long Time Coming
Much like the Knicks, Thibodeau has experienced his own ups and downs. In 2001, he won NBA Coach of the Year with the Bulls. He has been fired by both the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves within the past five years. Yet, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell, the Knicks want him for a few key reasons.
“This is the job that Thibs has had his eye on for a long, long time,” Friedell said. “He has a lot of ties to New York. He was an assistant there; he has a great relationship with Leon Rose. But he wants to prove to a lot of people that have written him off in the league that he can still coach and he can coach at the highest level.”
In addition, Friedell expressed that coaching in Madison Square Garden means a great deal to Thibodeau.
“Coaching at Madison Square Garden means a great deal to him. Being able to bring the Knicks back to relevance is a challenge that he wants–that he embraces. But most of all, this guy wants to win. He wants to show the league that the game has not passed him by,” Friedell said.
What The Knicks Need
The Knicks have been through a high amount of head coaches in the past two decades. The Knicks need a coach that can provide stability and consistency. The roster has a good mix of newbies and veterans and with draft picks coming their way, Thibodeau has the opportunity to turn things around. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has good faith in Thibodeau’s intentions.
“Tom Thibodeau is ready to get to work and start to really put in place the framework of a program that can give the Knicks something it hasn’t had in a very long time, and that’s stability,” Wojnarowski said.