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#pounditWednesday, January 19, 2022

Timberwolves’ Taj Gibson worries about Tom Thibodeau’s health

Tyronn Lue’s leave of absence from the Cleveland Cavaliers has created a new discussion about the physical and mental strain on NBA head coaches, and Minnesota Timberwolves big man Taj Gibson is among those concerned.

Gibson was asked by Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune on Tuesday if he ever worries about the health of Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau, who is widely known as one of the most intense figures in the game today.

“I worry about Thibs. I worry about Thibs all the time,” he replied. “I worry about him having a stroke or something crazy because he’s so into the game.”

Gibson’s comments come in the wake of Lue stepping away from the Cavs to address his health. Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford (earlier this season) and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr (in the 2015-16 season and the 2017 playoffs) have also taken notable leaves of absence for medical reasons.

For the 60-year-old Thibodeau, who has coached Gibson for six of his seven career seasons as a head coach in both Minnesota and Chicago, his trademark ferocity can definitely get the better of him sometimes. Thibodeau did benefit from taking the entire 2015-16 season off between jobs, but his fiery coaching style may indeed lead to greater concerns about his overall well-being.

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