Knicks Notes: Thibodeau, Beal, Robinson, COVID-19

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau has only nice things to say about the Timberwolves as he prepares to face them Sunday night for the first time since being fired two years ago, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Thibodeau helped Minnesota break a 14-season playoff drought in 2018, but was let go the following year. The Wolves are 43-93 since then, including a league-worst 7-23 this season.

“There’s a lot of good people there,’’ Thibodeau said. “I enjoyed my time there. It was a good experience. I was proud of what we were able to accomplish, but it was time to move on. Unfortunately there are a lot of former teams for me.’’

Thibodeau, who also had a front office role, spent just two and a half seasons with Minnesota, being let go midway through the 2018/19 season in favor of Ryan Saunders. He believed the team was heading in the right direction and could have accomplished more if he had stayed.

“There were things obviously we wanted to do better,” Thibodeau said. “That second year, we were very good. The third year I thought we had a really good chance as well even after the trade for Jimmy (Butler). That team was playing well.’’

There’s more from New York:

  • A report this week suggests that Knicks executive William “World Wide Wes” Wesley is working through backchannels to try to convince Wizards guard Bradley Beal to seek a trade to New York, relays Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. ESPN radio host Michael Kay said the tip comes from a “very good source” who told him that Wesley is “nudging” some of Beal’s representatives toward the arrangement.
  • Mitchell Robinson had no idea his hand was fractured when he suffered the injury in a February 12 game, according to Anthony Rieber of The New York Daily News. Robinson thought it was temporary numbness that he could shake off, but the diagnosis turned out to be far more serious. He had surgery this week and will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break. “So far, I feel great,” he said. “Basically, what I’ve been doing now is doing the bike, a little running here and there. I’ve been watching the team practice and trying to stay updated just in case they change something or something’s added. Other than just focusing in on that, just staying in shape.”
  • The Knicks played 30 games this season before having one canceled due to COVID-19 and that was because of issues involving the Spurs, notes Peter Botte of The New York Post. Frank Ntilikina is the only player to miss time because of contact tracing, and no one on the roster has tested positive for the virus.
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