Knicks To Hire Tom Thibodeau As Head Coach

The Knicks and Tom Thibodeau are finalizing a five-year contract to make him their head coach, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Thibodeau has been considered the favorite to land the job for months. However, Lakers assistant Jason Kidd reportedly emerged as a frontrunner after negotiations with Thibodeau appeared to hit a snag. Those differences have obviously been ironed out.

Thibodeau has strong ties to the new front office regime, as team president Leon Rose is his former agent. Thibodeau has a .589 winning percentage (352-246) as a head coach with the Bulls and Timberwolves, though his tenure with Minnesota ended midway through the 2018/19 season when the team was floundering below .500 at 19-21.

The Knicks conducted an extensive search for the position. Ex-Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, interim Knicks coach Mike Miller, former NBA coaches Mike Brown and Mike Woodson, and a handful of current assistants from around the NBA were considered for the job. Thibodeau was interviewed twice, including a three-hour session in his second interview. Overall, Rose and his front office team met with 11 candidates.

The team that Thibodeau inherits is in flux. The Knicks have a number of veteran players on non-guaranteed contracts for next season after striking out in their quest for a superstar player last offseason. They’re expected to be one of a handful of teams with significant salary-cap space this offseason and also have some interesting young pieces, including center Mitchell Robinson and last year’s lottery pick, RJ Barrett.

The Knicks are counting on Thibodeau to develop those young players and instill a winning culture. New York was 21-45 this season and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season.

Thibodeau has long-standing ties to the organization as an assistant under Jeff Van Gundy from 1996-2004.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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49 thoughts on “Knicks To Hire Tom Thibodeau As Head Coach

    • metsie1

      Yeah, it’ll be tough to make millions of dollars coaching basketball. Knicks also have a boatload of draft picks and a decent young player in RJ Barrett. Did I mention 5 years of job security.

      • Lionel Muggeridge

        If you think Thibs will still be there after 5 years, you’re crazy

        • eschizzle

          He may not be there after 5 years, but he’ll be getting paid top dollar for 5 years

    • Rocket32

      2bbige That ‘poor guy’ is lucky to be getting another HC opportunity for any NBA team. He’s a retread coach that’s already been fired as a HC twice.

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      Don’t you mean the poor first seven guys in the rotation, because they’re going to get run into the dirt. Bone-headed hire.

  1. uvmfiji

    Red Holzman would be approaching his 100th birthday were he alive to see this.

  2. case7187

    You would think some of these teams would go after fresh new coach’s instead of these guys who have done nothing and got nowhere with the many teams they coached

    Look this guy he was fired from the T-wolves and the bulls just to name a few of his bigger disappointment

    • Who would you hire? How about a name? A recently retired NBA player? That’s not a guarantee success. College guy? Those hardly ever work out. Maybe Brad Stevens and the guy in Utah. So quick to judge but you don’t have a name.

    • 4Quarters

      Because the Bulls and T-Wolves are doing SO MUCH better without him, right?

      Was he involved with their only recent success? Yes or nah?

      When was the last time the Knicks had success with youngish players? Back in the days of David Lee & Z-Bo…

      So maybe we try Thibs out, as long as we can get an offensive-minded assistant coach and the FO demands at least a 10 man rotation during a % of the season.

      Structure is only every a problem to people who don’t want to do anything from the jump. Rose/Noah/Taj/Butler don’t seem to have a prob with Thibs. KAT/Wiggins did…Wiggins just got dealt WITH a 1st rd pick to a team that’s neck deep in the lottery & also gonna be win-now next season. T-Wolves been collectively Charmin Ultra for a min

      If Thibs fails here, let’s judge it on whatever merits come up here. Not other stints where he either eventually lost the room cuz he drives folks into the ground (Bulls), or his team was made up of KPOP fanatic types (TWolves)

    • braveshomer

      yeah I’m with you…there are retreads coaches and then there are retreads who’s picture show up when googling ‘what is a retread coach’…ala Thibs lol

  3. Al Hirschen

    Jason Kidd is back in the running for the Nets. Jackson Kidd. Mike D’Antoni. JVG

    • Sillivan

      Do you think Nets are deserved to take the coaches Knicks don’t want?
      Nets want a playoffs achieved coach
      It would be good if someone has 3 times nba finals appearance

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        Makes no difference who the Nets hire, they’re not getting past the Bucks, Raptors, Heat, or Celtics just to reach the ECF anytime soon.

  4. Sillivan

    Which free agents can he bring in this year?
    This is more important than coaching

  5. LeDunkDeLaMort

    So the “exhaustive search” was just a cover for the team president hiring his buddy. The team is being run by the folks who brought you the Andrea Bargnani trade. Same ol Knicks.

  6. mrshyguy99

    i feel bad for the knicks. thibs comes and goes from every team for the same reasons. why do people love him so much? he hard on the players, he has low rotaions7-9 players a game. i bet by season ends players might be burn out. im just not a fan of thibs

  7. Sillivan

    Knicks will miss the playoffs if Leon Rose is not able to sign 2 of top 6 free agents

    And then
    Every seasons are the same

  8. Knicks: Thibs we’d like to hire you as head coach.

    Thibs: okay then I want this and I want that before I sign.

    Knicks: we’ve hit a snag, put Jason Kidd back on line 1.

    Thibs: No wait !! I’ll take it.

  9. Sillivan

    There is no way I will give Thib 5 years contract
    I can do two years then
    If exceptional great, 5 years extension at 75 million
    If good , 3 years Extension 12 million

    • Thibs doesn’t take it unless it’s a five-year deal. This is the Knicks. You can’t do anything in 2 years. Plus he’s the number one guy out there. He names his price.

        • harden-westbrook-mvps

          Wasn’t too hard with the team he used to have. Their days of winning 67 games every season is over. 57 wins is probably asking too much anymore, getting just 47 is doable for them.

  10. nentwigs

    And with that hire, the Knicks will only need a roster of six veterans and will not need any rookies or draft choices.

  11. Thibs can actually coach (which is a rare trait among today’s NBA HCs). Whether he’s a good hire here will depend on how the organization develops the roster going forward. If they emphasize finding tough minded 2 way players with team skills, I think he can be a great hire and central to a new identity for the franchise. If not, and they’re just looking for him to add a few wins with X’s and O’s, or get bad defenders to play a little better, then it won’t amount to much.

  12. Simmons>Russ

    RIP the Knicks for another 5 years.

    Thibs is an old school coach not a rebuilding coach. He plays his players long minutes, makes them work really hard on offence and defence and just isn’t the right man for the job.
    I can see players not wanting to go to NY from the draft now. I doubt Ball wants to go there, or Edwards and so on.

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      Exactly! NY just became an even less desirable destination for players, which is hard to believe. They picked the absolute worst candidate.

      • Simmons>Russ

        I mean if they were a championship team with great players then it’s decent selection but for a young rebuilding team it’s terrible

        • Sillivan

          Knicks are already in trouble

          There is no way Knicks can steal Free Agents from Clippers Raptors Nets

  13. KnickerbockerAl

    It’s a good hire. He knows NY which is most important. We don’t need rookies here. He changed Bulls and Minny. Butler left cause Wiggins was a dog. Not cause of Thibs. Knicks D is worst in nba. That will change. We have plenty of picks next 3 yrs. There will be accountability now. So Knox, Nttilikina, DSJ, all better be ready. Knicks will definitely move players next yr. I’m sure he wants a young vet to grow with team. I’m sure most of this board. Doesn’t know Knicks have never rebuilt. Even when they got Ewing. They blew their rebuilding. Cause they gave away Jackson n Strickland. And got lucky with Mason n Starks. We’ve never had this many picks ever. Mitch, RJ, Knox, Nttilikina, DSJ, Randle all really lottery picks. Plus 6 #1 picks next three drafts. And plenty of cap room. You need experienced basketball minds. To do this right. Fizdale was a joke. The ones who made that move. Are all gone. This is all about young talent. So far only ones to show are Randle, RJ, Mitch. Randle is probably gone. But a 25 yr old who is 19 n 9. Is not someone to dismiss. Great we got a coach before draft. This tells me it’s all about the draft. I couldn’t agree more. Knicks are finally doing it right. Only gets better from here. We are youngest team in NBA.

    • He changed Minny? What exactly did he change them to? They were bad when he arrived, and worse after the failed Butler fiasco. Other than Butler, nobody wanted to play for him. Wolves will be better off with young Saunders coaching them. I personally don’t miss listening to Thibs scream, holler, and swear at his team and the refs for 48 minutes every night. Good luck Knicks with thibs and a young team…..

    • Simmons>Russ

      Barrett third overall lottery..
      Randle 7th overall
      Ntilikina 8th overall
      Knox and DSJ 9th overall

      Thibs is a defensive coach on a team that has only 1 young good defender in Mitchell Robinson. As for their future picks who are they going to take that suits Thibs big minutes and defensively intensity style….

      Thibs got lucky in Chicago cause he had MVP DRose, DPOTY Noah then solid defenders Dend Gibson and Butler. The furtherest they got was beaten by LeBron 4-1 in the ECF. Then Bron beat them another two times in other playoffs. Then in Minny he completely lost the locker room cause he couldn’t turn the young wolves into a winning side by adding vets.
      He’s 62 failed with the Bulls then been average/bad ever since

    • stevep-4

      Al. You are right. Thibs will change. The culture. They should draft. Thibs type players and. Build a new identity. He. Is a very good in-game coach. And gets the most. Out of players.

  14. Sillivan

    Next 3 years Knicks have 9 draft picks

    I enjoy seeing that They give up the picks like candy
    and make playoffs

  15. And I forgot to add in my previous post, the wolves D was awful under his watch. Sick of hearing about him being a defensive wizard

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