Maybe it would change if a press conference was held in Madison Square Garden or at Knicks’ headquarters in Westchester. Perhaps in those usual spaces, placed in a nice suit, released for use on stage as a bullying pulpit, Tom Thibodeau would wear the day with plowing and charm.
Frankly, it doesn’t seem to be a genre of Thibodeau.
In many ways, it was the perfect way for Thibodeau to greet in the summer of 2020, at the Zoom Challenge, in the Knicks golf shirt, Brady Bunch Square on a computer screen with teammates Leon Rose and Scott Perry. It is not possible to win a press conference when this press conference is on Zoom, so there was no need to try.
In addition: Knicks fans are tired of winning press conferences. David Fizdale and Jeff Hornacek were excellent artists on the first day, less then. No one had a more triumphant press conference than Phil Jackson in 2014, when he was not hired just to lead the Knicks, he was canonized. Winning the press conference is great.
Winning basketball games are then much more useful and much more meaningful.
“Whenever you get into a situation where you are thinking about how you can improve your club,” Thibodeau said on Thursday the day he officially took over the Knicks’ reins. “You start with the players you have, your internal development is paramount. We start there and add talent in the design, we are also looking for free agencies to add talent, and we are looking for a business to add talent. You can improve this in four ways. And we’ll look at them. “
Thibodeau is a nonsensical trainer with a nonsensical personality, and if he can joke about how surprising it was for some to hear that he actually went on a vacation to Miami this year, sat down and fought on the beach, he also couldn’t pretend to be anything other than laser-focused and focused on the work you have at hand.
Others in recent years have accepted this work and spoke in grand tones about what their vision was for the franchise and for the future, and overcame themselves with the generality of optimism – which at the end of the day translates mostly into pious thinking. Thibodeau speaks mostly specifically and has the authority of a man who has won 59 percent of his games as an NBA coach. It describes the five basic values: rebound, defense, low turns, ball splitting and the use of color – transition or penetration – as the basic weapon.
It may be easy, but that’s exactly the kind of starting point that the Knicks team needs the most. Speaking of the players he inherited now, Thibodeau said: “But I thought there were some players who really performed and did a good job. However, there is a lot of work. One of the most important things when you study a team is to just look at efficiency and when you see that you are -6.54, you realize that there is a lot of work. And let’s hope we can get the players to play for each other and start building these habits. “
It’s also helpful to go back 24 years when Thibodeau’s friend and coach assistant, Jeff Van Gundy, was promoted to head coach after the surprise of Don Nelson, who directed 23 games since the end of the season. Van Gundy is another who never won a press conference in those days when he was a little-known rat rat with hollow eyes and scratches.
But from the beginning, the reason he succeeded in this job was that this job did not win him over. He didn’t have the record Thibodeau has now, but listen to these first words he gave the first day at work, and then ask: Why does that sound so good?
“Some coaches believe they are giving players time off,” Van Gundy told the old Philadelphia Spectrum on March 8, 1996. “Other coaches believe in saving players’ feet. I am the one who believes in practice. I think that games are won in practice. It is not just hard work, but productive work. My job is to create a winning and working environment.
“There is no easy answer.”
Then he wasn’t there. He’s not there now. If the Knicks are to be rehabilitated, the brick comes at once, the nail piece by piece, piece by piece. Van Gundy was a serious basketball man and Thibodeau is a serious basketball man, so sometimes he sometimes makes Van Gundy a comparison to Jackie the Joke Man.
But the Knicks need it now. They take it seriously. They want it seriously. Tom Thibodeau brings it to dance and the winning percentage, and to seeing how it should all be done. All right. It’s time.