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#pounditSaturday, July 2, 2022

Articles tagged: Tom Thibodeau

LeBron James reportedly wants Tom Thibodeau to join Lakers’ staff

Tom Thibodeau

LeBron James has refused to admit publicly for several years now that he has any input in coaching decisions, but it is tough to believe he had nothing to do with Tyronn Lue reportedly being on the verge of becoming the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. And if LeBron influenced that hire, perhaps he can help Lue fill out his staff.

Frank Isola of The Athletic reports that LeBron has made it known “through intermediaries” that he wants Tom Thibodeau to join Lue’s staff with the Lakers. LeBron feels Thibodeau’s presence could be a huge asset, though a person close to him denied that James is trying to influence any coaching decisions in LA. However, that same person told Isola that LeBron has the “utmost respect” for Thibodeau.

Thibodeau has not served as an assistant since he was with the Boston Celtics in 2010, and he almost certainly would prefer to pursue other head coaching opportunities. Isola notes that he could also be hesitant to join the Lakers because of the questions surrounding their front office, as he just left an ugly situation when he was fired by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Lue and Thibodeau have a history, so it’s not impossible to envision a scenario where Thibodeau is unable to find a head coaching job and wants to help the Lakers out.

Watch: Tom Thibodeau forces awkward permanent smile on ESPN

Tom Thibodeau smiling

Tom Thibodeau is trying his hand at some broadcasting work for ESPN, and the early returns are not promising.

Viewers watching ESPN’s NBA coverage on Wednesday noticed that Thibodeau was awkwardly smiling throughout a segment as if he had been coached to smile.

The public perception of Thibodeau has long been that he is an unhappy, tough coach with a very distinct voice. When he was coaching, it was news when he would smile. That’s probably why he seemed to be so conscious of it on Wednesday.

Yes, a happier, more approachable look might help ease Thibodeau’s transition from fired Minnesota Timberwolves coach to ESPN analyst, but someone needs to tell him he doesn’t have to force it that much.

Doc Rivers expects Tom Thibodeau to be around Clippers in some capacity

Tom Thibodeau

Tom Thibodeau may not be away from NBA basketball for very long.

Addressing reporters on Monday, LA Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said that he expects Thibodeau, who was fired by the Minnesota Timberwolves over the weekend, to be around the Clippers in some capacity this season. This is per Andrew Greif of the LA Times, who also says that Rivers has recently had ex-Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue around the team as well.

The 60-year-old Thibodeau, who went 97-107 (.475) with one playoff berth in three seasons with the Wolves, used to serve as an assistant under Rivers on the Boston Celtics, including their title-winning team in 2008. Similarly, Lue was also a Rivers assistant, both on the Celtics and the Clippers.

Rivers has also brought in some of his notable former players to work with his current team, and the extra counsel can only help the surprise 23-16 Clippers.

Timberwolves fire Tom Thibodeau, may want Fred Hoiberg

The Minnesota Timberwolves have decided to fire Tom Thibodeau.

News came out late Sunday that the Timberwolves were firing Thibodeau, who was in the middle of his third season as the team’s head coach and president.

Thibodeau entered the season on the hot seat, which is why he was desperately trying to keep Jimmy Butler rather than trade him. He knew he needed a strong showing this season to keep his job. Instead, the Timberwolves have been below .500 most of the season and ended up dealing Butler to Philadelphia.

Ryan Saunders will serve as the Timberwolves’ interim head coach moving forward, while Scott Layden is the team’s general manager.

What’s surprising is the timing of the move. Why would Minnesota fire Thibodeau now, especially after a promising 22-point win over the Lakers at home? The explanation could be their interest in Fred Hoiberg.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the Timberwolves have interest in Hoiberg as a potential head coach or GM.

Hoiberg reportedly is in the mix for the UCLA head coaching job, so it’s possible the Timberwolves made the move to clear a spot for him and get him before the Bruins.

T-Wolves owner Glen Taylor also said that fan interest played a factor in the timing of the move. The team was coming up against a key date for season ticket renewals and wanted to make sure fans were engaged.

Tom Thibodeau shares thoughts on Jimmy Butler trade

Jimmy Butler

Tom Thibodeau never seemed to be fully on board with trading Jimmy Butler, but the Minnesota Timberwolves coach has to face reality now that Butler is officially a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. On Monday, Thibodeau opened up a bit about the process that led to Butler finally being dealt.

When asked about the level of interest the Timberwolves received in Butler from other teams, Thibodeau said there were plenty of solid offers.

“It was fine,” he said. “We knew we had to be patient. We felt we had a few offers that were good. Once we got the offers to the point where we felt good about what the offers were, we thought this was the best one for us so we executed.”

One interesting claim Thibodeau made was that the report about Butler giving the Timberwolves a list of his preferred destinations was not true.

Initial reports claimed that Butler wanted to play in a big market like New York or Los Angeles, so he supposedly told Minnesota he would prefer to be sent to the Knicks, Nets or Clippers. Another team was later added to the mix and it sounded like they were going to land Butler, but talks continued to fall apart anytime progress was made.

All indications were that Thibodeau wanted to keep Butler, but that didn’t matter to the start swingman. It also didn’t matter to Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, who did not want to give off the impression that there was dysfunction within his organization. Regardless of what Thibodeau says about the deal with the 76ers, it was not outcome he had hoped for.

Timberwolves’ winless road trip reportedly spurred Jimmy Butler trade

Jimmy Butler’s situation with the Minnesota Timberwolves came to a head Friday night, according to reports.

On Friday night, the Timberwolves concluded a five-game road trip with a 121-110 loss to the Sacramento Kings, ensuring an 0-5 record on the trip. That apparently was enough to convince coach and president Tom Thibodeau that Butler was dragging down the team and causing dysfunction and decided then and there that Butler would never play for Minnesota again.

Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times further said that one Timberwolves player had described the locker room as a “soap opera” earlier in the week.

Despite a whole lot of public speculation and controversial commentary, it seemed that Thibodeau was willing to put up with Butler’s idiosyncrasies as long as the team could win with him. The road trip convinced him that they could not, and he was dealt to Philadelphia less than a day later.

Pat Riley denies calling Tom Thibodeau F-word

Pat Riley Heat

Pat Riley issued a statement on Friday to deny dropping an F-bomb on Tom Thibodeau.

ESPN Los Angeles radio host Jorge Sedano, who used to be a Miami Heat pregame host, reported on the radio this week that Riley called Thibodeau a “motherf—er” for trying to squeeze him on a trade for Jimmy Butler that seemed to nearly be agreed to.

According to Sedano, the medicals had been exchanged, and then Thibodeau called Riley back and asked for more draft picks. That meshes with what was previously reported about the trade talks breaking down between the Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves.

“As to what has been reported in the past 24 hours, I have too much respect for Tom Thibodeau and all that he’s accomplished in this league… Our conversations have been nothing but cordial and I have never used that kind of language in negotiations, but I do admit to telling Danny Ainge to,” Riley said in a statement.

The Heat president didn’t complete his statement, but you can get filled in on his whole exchange with Danny Ainge here.

By referencing a past incident where he dropped an F-word, Riley seems to be telling everyone that he isn’t afraid to use a curse word when necessary, which is why we should take his word for it in this case.

He must really want Jimmy Butler badly.

Jimmy Butler thinks Tom Thibodeau loved what he saw at practice

Tom Thibodeau

Jimmy Butler’s intense behavior at Wednesday’s Minnesota Timberwolves practice became the talk of the NBA, with many debating whether it was good or bad for the team. Regardless of what you think, Butler thinks he knows how Tom Thibodeau felt about it.

During a sit-down interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Butler sad he thought Thibodeau loved the energy Butler brought to practice.

“Right now, I know Thibs, he’s in there by himself. He locked his door and he’s smiling, he’s laughing. He’s like ‘yeah!'” Butler told Nichols. “Thibs likes confrontation. He’s like ‘hey, look at how much energy was in the gym. Look at the best he brought out of his teammates. That’s the thing that the team misses.'”

Though Butler believes Thibodeau liked what happened, the All-Star does not think his issues with the team will be fixed.

“It’s not fixed. It could be (fixable). Do I think so? No.”

Butler still wants to be traded by Minnesota. They risk getting nothing in return for him if he leaves in free agency after the season, so the possibility of a trade still exists. The Timberwolves reportedly have been focused on a trade with the Heat, though nothing has been finalized.

Timberwolves fans boo Tom Thibodeau during preseason game

The fans have turned on Tom Thibodeau.

Thibodeau was booed by a number of the fans in attendance for Friday’s preseason game between his Minnesota Timberwolves and the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to reporters in attendance.

Thibodeau is only entering his third season as the Timberwolves’ head coach and led them to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2003-04. You would think that would endear him to the fans, but the current issues facing the team likely have changed their minds.

The biggest storyline in the NBA is Jimmy Butler’s desire to be traded. Some want the Timberwolves to deal him and get something in return, but Thibodeau is reportedly reluctant to trade him and standing in the way. Thibs is holding his ground, even if means a P.R. hit.

10 NBA coaches on the hot seat this season

Luke Walton

The NBA is a “get wins or get out” enterprise. The business can be callous at times, spurning head coaches who have seemingly earned job security — a lesson Dwane Casey learned the hard way in May. It’s still hard to imagine Casey on the Pistons’ sideline.

It may seem ridiculous to already be speculating about which coaches could be fired this season, but the 2018-19 season is practically upon us, and before we know it, some team will be searching for a new leader. With the preseason already underway, here are 10 coaches on the hot seat.

10. Alvin Gentry, Pelicans

You could argue Anthony Davis’ impressive late-season surge saved Gentry’s job last season. The Pelicans won their first playoff series in the Davis era — an encouraging sign — but the Warriors quickly vanquished New Orleans’ momentum. This seems to be a pivotal moment for the franchise. The Pelicans didn’t have much spending money this summer, as the squad had already dished out hefty contracts to players like E’Twaun Moore, Alexis Ajinca, and Omer Asik. The team allowed DeMarcus Cousins to bolt and signed bargain-basement assets Jahlil Okafor and Elfrid Payton, in addition to Julius Randle. The Pelicans are reliant on Davis sustaining MVP-level production; if he and Jrue Holiday crash back to earth early this season, however, GM Dell Demps — left with little flexibility to add another impact player — may opt to make a coaching change.