Tom Thibodeau certainly seems as though he may have options this offseason if he wants to return to the NBA head coaching ranks.
Thibodeau is “canvassing the league” and asking people which potential coaching job would be best suited to him, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets will be hiring new coaches this offseason, and the Houston Rockets are expected to as well.
Thibodeau will be considered for the Knicks job, according to Bondy. Interim coach Mike Miller will also be a candidate.
The coaching market will develop whenever the season ends, which is uncertain at this point. Thibodeau is certainly looking, but he’s made it clear he doesn’t feel like he absolutely has to take the first offer that comes his way.
Tom Thibodeau isn’t exactly chomping at the bit to get back into the NBA as quickly as possible.
Appearing this week on ESPN, the former Minnesota Timberwolves coach downplayed rumors linking him to the New York Knicks and other teams.
“They’re just rumors,” said Thibodeau, per the New York Post’s Marc Berman. “And this time of year, everything is on hold. Normally you would have some openings and right now there aren’t any. So you don’t want to speculate on what jobs could open. That’s what you have an agent for. He’ll certainly, at some point, look if there is an opportunity, whether it’s a good match or not.”
The 2010-11 NBA Coach of the Year also pointed out that he was still owed another year on his contract with the Timberwolves after his 2019 firing.
“I’m still under contract with Minnesota, so I feel like I’m in a position where I can be patient,” Thibodeau added.
The Knicks have been the most popular rumored destination with Thibodeau’s background as a former Knicks assistant and his very close relationship with president Leon Rose. They fired head coach David Fizdale in December and interim coach Mike Miller has gone 17-27 since taking over.
Thibodeau is also expected to draw interest from a number of playoff teams, so he can afford to sit back and wait for the market to fully develop.
Tom Thibodeau is going to be a hot name on the head coaching market whenever the NBA offseason begins, and the Brooklyn Nets are among the teams that are said to have interest in him. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will almost certainly have some say in the Nets’ hiring process, which could be good news for Thibodeau if he wants the job.
Both Durant and Irving like and respect Thibodeau, sources told Marc Berman of the New York Post. The two superstars worked with Thibodeau when he was an assistant coach with Team USA, and they are said to have favorable opinions of him from the time they spent together.
The Nets, as well as the Houston Rockets, have “strong interest” in Thibodeau, according to Berman. Brooklyn fired head coach Kenny Atkinson earlier this season, and there have been reports that Irving helped push him out the door.
At the very least, it sounds like Thibodeau is going to get a number of interviews for head coaching jobs heading into next season. He has not coached since being fired by the Minnesota Timberwolves in January of 2019, but he holds a career record of 352-246 (.589) with six playoff appearances in eight seasons. The New York Knicks are also said to have interest, and Thibodeau has a relationship with new Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose from when Rose was an agent with Creative Artists agency.
Irving supposedly has a specific head coach in mind for the Nets, but he’s not going to make the final hiring decision. Thibodeau may end up having his pick of two or three jobs if all goes well for him.
Despite being out of the NBA for over a year now, Tom Thibodeau may have multiple opportunities to choose from come the offseason.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reported Monday that both the Houston Rockets and the Brooklyn Nets will have “strong interest” in the former Coach of the Year. Berman notes that the Nets, who recently fired head coach Kenny Atkinson, have stars in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant who each “like and respect” Thibodeau stemming from the days that he coached them as an assistant for Team USA. Incumbent Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni will also see his contract expire after the 2019-20 season and is soon turning 69.
Thibodeau has not coached since being fired by the Minnesota Timberwolves in Jan. 2019, but he holds a career record of 352-246 (.589) with six playoff appearances in eight seasons. His connection to both aforementioned teams runs a bit deeper too, as Thibodeau also coached Nets center DeAndre Jordan on Team USA as well as Rockets forward Robert Covington in Minnesota.
The 62-year-old had previously been linked to just the New York Knicks job. Berman reports too that new Knicks president Leon Rose likes the tough, old-school style of Thibodeau, a Creative Arts Agency client and former Knicks assistant. But should Thibodeau desire a job with a franchise that is closer to contention, he may have no shortage of options.
The New York Knicks will be interviewing potential head coaching candidates in the coming weeks and months, and Tom Thibodeau is one name that continues to come up in association with the job. Thibodeau has been mentioned as a candidate for other jobs around the league, but it may be Knicks or bust for him.
The Brooklyn Nets are another team that will be looking for a new head coach this offseason, and Marc Stein mentioned Tyronn Lue, Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy as potential candidates. While some have wondered if Thibodeau would be a fit in Brooklyn, Stein said it is believed that the Knicks job is the only one Thibodeau is being considered for.
Thibodeau hasn’t coached since being fired by the Minnesota Timberwolves in January 2019. The 62-year-old has been close with new Knicks president Leon Rose for two decades stemming from Rose’s time as an agent with CAA. Thibodeau also served as an assistant coach for the Knicks from 1996 to 2004, so he has previous ties to the organization.
There is no guarantee that the Knicks will move on from interim coach Mike Miller, who has reportedly impressed Rose since he took over for David Fizdale. Thibodeau is said to have high interest in the job, and it seems like a given that he will at least be called in for an interview.
One of basketball’s most well-known unemployed coaches could soon find himself back in the saddle.
Frank Isola of ESPN reported on Monday that former Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau would be among the favorites for the New York Knicks job if a coaching change is made. Isola notes that Thibodeau has been close with new Knicks president Leon Rose for two decades.
The 62-year-old Thibodeau hasn’t coached since being fired by the Minnesota Timberwolves in Jan. of 2019. In addition to his ties to Rose from the latter’s time working as an agent for CAA, Thibodeau also served as an assistant coach for the Knicks from 1996 to 2004.
While there is no guarantee that the Knicks move on from interim coach Mike Miller, who has gone 15-24 since taking over for the fired David Fizdale, we have heard that Thibodeau has significant interest in the job. Whether he is the right coach for their young, rebuilding team is a different story though.
The New York Knicks are once again searching for a new head coach, and there have been doubts about whether they will be able to attract top candidates given the current state of the franchise. However, Tom Thibodeau would apparently have no problem working for James Dolan.
Thibodeau is very interested in the Knicks job and wants to become the team’s next head coach, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports. The former Minnesota Timberwolves coach and president of basketball operations has been actively looking for a job since he was fired a little over a year ago, and a person close to him says he would join the Knicks without hesitation.
“He really wants the Knick job,” one of Thibodeau’s confidants told Berman. “He can taste it and he may even be in the lead.”
Thibodeau is said to be on new Knicks president Leon Rose’s short list of coaching candidates, so the interest may be mutual. Thibodeau worked as an assistant coach with the Knicks from 1996-2004. He also has past ties to Rose from Rose’s time working as an agent for CAA, and the addition of Rose in New York is said to have made Thibodeau even more interested in the job.
“Rose has always been known as much more ethical than most agents, and if he can deliver players and let a strong coach coach, this could work out,” Berman’s source said. “It’s never a sure thing because of ownership, but Thibs knows he can work with Rose and also knows he’d be able to bring in his people as well.”
The Knicks are reportedly considering at least one other big name coach, though it’s unclear if the interest is mutual. Thibodeau is viewed as one of the better defensive minds in basketball and is respected by some of the game’s top players, though he had some issues with one of his biggest stars in Minnesota.
If the Knicks are looking for a strong presence, Thibodeau might make sense for their head coaching job. However, that can sometimes backfire for a rebuilding team, which is something they need to consider.
The New York Knicks fired David Fizdale last week after the coach failed to win with a roster that basically gave him no chance, and there would be a big risk involved for anyone who is brave enough to take the job next. Despite that, the Knicks seem to think they can still attract some flashy candidates.
The Knicks want interim head coach Mike Miller to finish out the season, but Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that they have compiled a list of coaches they believe could take over mid-season if necessary. Jeff Van Gundy, Tom Thibodeau and Mark Jackson are among them, as they are not currently working for other teams. If the Knicks want to hire a top assistant from another team’s staff, they will have to wait until the summer.
Of course, there are questions about whether any of the aforementioned candidates would even want the job. Both Van Gundy and Jackson were mentioned as possible replacements after Jeff Hornacek was fired last year, but things have only gotten worse for the franchise since. At that point, the Knicks still had a chance of signing Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and other star free agents. They then missed out on all the big names during the summer.
The Knicks could reportedly hit the reset button on their basketball operations department by firing president Steve Mills, so perhaps that will help convince a reputable coach that the job is one worth considering. We have heard of at least one other big-name candidate that they may pursue, but their search will probably be a difficult one given how poorly things have gone for the team for the past two decades.
Doc Rivers is welcoming a familiar face back to his practice sessions.
Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported Saturday that former Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau was in attendance at the LA Clippers’ facility for shootaround.
Thibodeau, who has not coached since he was fired last January by the Minnesota Timberwolves, served as an assistant and defensive coordinator under Rivers on the Boston Celtics, including during their 2008 title run.
The 61-year-old Thibodeau had raved about the defensive potential of the current Clippers team, but they rank just 13th in defensive efficiency this season (per ESPN). While Thibodeau is not employed in any official capacity with the Clippers, Rivers recently brought back another of his ex-assistants-turned-head coaches in Tyronn Lue, so there is no shortage of familiarity.
Tom Thibodeau is one of basketball’s best defensive minds, and he likes the potential that the new-look LA Clippers have on that end of the floor.
In an interview with The Athletic’s Jovan Buha that ran Sunday, the former Minnesota Timberwolves coach had a lofty comparison for the Clippers’ D.
“I think this team has the capability to be just as good [as the 2008 Boston Celtics] when you look at it,” he said. “I think it’ll be seamless. You’re talking two elite defenders [in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George] that guard multiple positions, multiple effort guys, never quit on plays. Both guys are very unique. Even if you can get by them, they’ll come from behind and get the ball.
“I think when you add in Patrick Beverley on the ball, 94 feet, and then those guys up in passing lanes, it’ll be very hard to score against them,” Thibodeau continued. “Their containment of the ball and also their pressure on the ball is going to cause a lot of problems. I think they’ll create a lot of turnovers. They’ll be a high steal team as well.”
The ’08 Celtics team is widely regarded as one of the greatest defensive teams ever, anchored by big man great Kevin Garnett and complemented by some of the NBA’s best defenders at their position like Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen, and Kendrick Perkins. Boston won 66 games that year, finished first in defensive rating, and took home the championship as well. Of course, Thibodeau was also their lead assistant, serving under current Clippers coach Doc Rivers.
As for the Clippers, they obviously boast three all-world defensive behemoths in Leonard, George, and Beverley. But they have several other physical wing defenders like Moe Harkless and Rodney McGruder to make life difficult for opposing scorers as well. Thibs has been around the Clippers since last year, and it’s clear that he likes what he sees in them.