It has been nearly a full year since former Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau was fired. Speaking to Frank Isola of The Athletic, Thibodeau said that he has kept busy over those last 11+ months with plenty of traveling, TV work, and visits to teams. However, if the opportunity arises, he wouldn’t hesitate to return to the sidelines for an NBA franchise.
“Oh, yeah. I want to coach,” Thibodeau told Isola. “I’ve always known that.”
Thibodeau, who took over as the Bulls’ head coach in 2010, compiled a 255-139 (.647) record in Chicago before going 97-107 (.475) in two-and-a-half seasons in Minnesota.
Thibodeau took a year off from coaching between his stints with the Bulls and Wolves, and it’s no surprise he seems willing to accept an even longer layoff this time around. He said in June that he wants to be patient and wait for the right NBA opportunity, since he “still [has] some time” on his contract. Thibs’ five-year deal with Minnesota ran through the 2020/21 season, so he’s still getting paid by the club.
It remains to be seen how many head coaching jobs will open up around the league this spring, but it’s safe to assume at least one big-market team – the Knicks – will make a new hire unless Mike Miller makes a very strong impression. Thibodeau was recently rumored to be among the names on New York’s potential wish list.
Thibodeau’s conversation with Isola also features the former head coach’s thoughts on load management, his job performance in Minnesota, Jimmy Butler‘s fit in Miami, and more, so it’s worth reading in full if you’re an Athletic subscriber.