Welcome to the Coaching Carousel series: This is a series where I assess the qualifications of the most talked about potential Head Coaching candidates the Knicks are considering and make my recommendation on how well they would fit as the HC.
This week I will be releasing my 3 remaining candidates (Mark Jackson already has his own article which I will use for this series as well) and Starting next Monday (June, 8th) I will begin my bracket style tournament to announce who I believe would be the best option for this Knicks team moving forward.
Remember to let me know your thoughts on twitter @theoutlethoops
Thibs is a coaching lifer. He is also not unfamiliar with Madison Square Garden. Serving a 5 year stint (1999-2004) under Jeff Van Gundy as an assistant and seeing the NBA Finals in his first year with the 'Bockers he then followed JVG to Houston to remain part of his staff before heading to Boston to win a title with Doc Rivers.
His first Head Coaching job was in Chicago from 2010 to 2015 where he coached a young Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. In the middle of this tenure Rose tore his ACL in the 11-12 playoffs and missed the entire 12-13 season while still leading the Bulls to the playoffs.
Thibodeau was fired after tension with the Front Office grew and the Bulls suffered a six game loss the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semi Finals.
The exit from Chicago parlayed a position of Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations in Minnesota where Thibs had a rocky tenure, not quite seeing eye toeye with Karl Anthony Towns but also brought the Timberwolves to the playoffs for the first time in 16 years.
Thibodeau has a reputation to over work his players, which, depending on your mindset could be a positive or a negative. Jimmy Butler did not seem to have a problem with it, KAT however, a much different story.
Butler did not get along with his young teammates claiming that they were too soft which undoubtedly led to both his and Thibodeau's exit.
Defense is where Thibs seems to focus. Keeping teams to low point totals and playing old fashioned basketball is where his heart lies, not something the Knicks could use less of! Getting the Knicks on the same page as their already defensive minded big man Mitchell Robinson and the French Prince himself, Frank Ntilikina could prove to be a hidden goldmine if the likes of Julius Randle, Dennis Smith Jr and Allonzo Trier commit to the philosophy.
Thibs works his players hard and in the era of load management, he leads by example. With high praise from the likes of Kevin Garnett, Joakim Noah and the leagues youngest MVP, Derrick Rose all citing his passion for the game as well as his passion for his players. Praise is nice but putting in the work is important, Thibodeau as an assistant in Houston would travel to China to work with Yao Ming on his footwork to develop the star 7 footer's skills. If the only knock on Thibs is that he is going to be accused of playing his starters too many minutes, with a team of young potental, Ill take the in game action rather than sitting on the bench and watching any day.
Stay Tuned for the next installment of the Coaching Carousel on Wednesday!