Tom Thibodeau Rumors
Tom Thibodeau, a hard charger who gets his players to play hard, also clashed with the Bulls front office, causing dysfunction. Thibodeau is not a triangle devotee but may be perceived as a transactional leader — in Jackson’s eyes. According to sources inside the Garden, Jackson was not enthralled with what transpired with Thibodeau in Chicago in which a divisive environment existed for a couple of seasons.
When the question was posed, “Can his name be Tom Thibodeau?” Jackson responded with a long stare. “Did you want me to respond to that?” he said. “I respect Tom as a coach. He’s a really good coach. I’m not out soliciting. Did I say I’m out soliciting coaches right now? No.”
Does he need to come from your coaching tree, I asked? “It’s always good to have a relationship,” Jackson said. “It’s not paramount, but at some point I’m going to have to have a relationship with somebody who’s going to coach this team. I mean, that’s just the way it works. Communication has to be there in a job like that.” Does he have to run the triangle, someone else asked? “The system of basketball is what’s important,” Jackson said. “We’re talking about a system here, and we’re talking about a system that we’re familiar with, so it’s not paramount, but it’s important.”
Nick Friedell: Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford is one of Tom Thibodeau’s closest friends and confidants. Clifford was asked before the game how much interest he thought Thibodeau would have in the New York Knicks job now that Derek Fisher has been fired. “I don’t have any idea,” Clifford said before Monday’s game against the Chicago Bulls. “Obviously, he wants to coach again and that’s a great job, he worked there and everything, but you’d have to ask him about that.”
Ken Berger: Phil wouldn’t rule out contacting Tom Thibodeau, but made it clear that relationship with next coach important. He and Thibs not close.