New Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau grew up in New Britain in Conn. And he still owns his old house – 85 kilometers from the Knicks training area in Tarrytown.
During the inaugural Zoom press conference on Thursday, Thibodeau described his new position as a “dream job.” He said it four times.
“This is a dream come true for me,” Thibodeau said. “This is my dream job. … Maybe part of it grew up in Connecticut. My father, my family, grew up as Knick’s fans. I’ve been here before, I understand New York well. I think we have the best city in the world, the best arenas and the best fans. I was there during the 90̵7;s and it was an incredible experience. ‘ “
For the first time in almost eight months, the Knicks have an official permanent coach. They announced this on the first day of the restart of the 22 NBA teams when the Knicks are trying to restart their dead license, which missed the playoffs for seven years.
Larry Brown once called the Knicks his “dream job” and left after one disaster 17-65. Thibodeau is a former assistant coach from the glorious days of the 1990s, who in 2018 became a coach of bull marquis and even interrupted the 13-year drought in Minnesota.
Now, however, Thibodeau may face a bigger role with James Dolan’s moderate Knicks. When asked how he can turn around a permanent mess, Thibodeau was not ashamed to mention the championships that the team did not win for 47 years.
“You don’t make big jumps without having to go through every step,” he said. “I think the first step is to determine work ethic and the way we want to play. There is still a lot of work to be done. One of the most important things when you study a team is just to look at efficiency and when you see your [net rating] is minus-6.54, you realize there’s a lot of work. And let’s hope we can get the players to play for each other and start building these habits.
“The ultimate goal is, of course, to bring the championship back to the city, where it is synonymous with victory and championship, in New York.”
Knicks President Leon Rose will be on the hook if Thibodeau’s old schools don’t work. Rose, his former agent at the Creative Artists Agency, said there was a “level of comfort” in accepting Thibodeau because of their long-term relationship.
Rose calls the 62-year-old Thibodeau “the perfect candidate for the job in terms of requiring responsibility, developing and creating a winning culture.”
“We hired not only a great basketball coach, but also an elite coach,” Rose said. “His principles and goals embody everything that Knicks basketball represents.”
On Saturday, Thibodeau agreed on the terms of a five-year deal. Some league insiders estimate the deal could be worth at least $ 25 million – even with a pandemic discount that is likely to cause his Knicks debut to be played without fan participation.
Thibodeau thanked Dolan in his prepared remarks and listed 15 coaches from whom he took tidbits – from Jeff Van Gundy to Bill Musselman. And Thibodeau called the former Knicks coaches he worked with “the best staff ever assembled.” Guys like Brendan Malone, Don Chaney, Jeff Nix, Steve Clifford, Andy Greer, Mike Malone – many of the head coaches who are in the league today. ”
Thibodeau got the Timberwolves into the playoffs, but allegations he had not made with young Minnesota players led to his shooting in January 2019.
Thibodeau declined to pay close attention to Minnesota.
“It was more of a complete rebuild, a team that didn’t win much for a long time,” he said. “So I think you draw from every experience, but every experience is different.”
Sources suggest that Thibodeau was impressed by the potential opening in Houston, but said he was attracted to the Knicks because of the cap’s flexibility and their wealth of stroke choices (the first seven rounds in the next four designs).
“The three main reasons why this job was so appealing to me was the current list we have now, it’s young and talented, and there’s room for growth,” Thibodeau said. “That’s exciting for me.” Second, he has to work for Leon and Wes [William Wesley], two people I have known for a very long time. And thirdly, all the proposals received, which were obtained, as well as space for hats. We have many different ways to improve your team. “
Thibodeau tried to dispel his reputation as a serious drilling series that has no life. He joked with this longtime Knicks writer and said, “I can’t believe you’re still around and refused that all he did during his unemployment was to visit the practices of other teams – which he did a lot.
“I went on vacation several times,” Thibodeau said. “I know people think I won’t do it.” But I left for a few weeks and lay down on the beach in Miami. ”
The Knicks interviewed 11 candidates over a seven-week period, but Thibodeau was reported to be a pioneer throughout.
“We took due care in this search,” Rose said. “We were open and listened to them from different candidates with different philosophies. The thoroughness of the search is what we felt the fans deserved. We wanted to fix it. “