Tom Thibodeau Rumors

Woodson, 62, the former Knicks head coach, is among several candidates who’ve met with team brass via video conference. Woodson, like frontrunner Tom Thibodeau, has a connection to team president Leon Rose and top Knicks executive William Wesley because they represented him at CAA as agents. It’s possible that Woodson, who owns the highest winning percentage of a Knicks coach since Jeff Van Gundy, is hired as an assistant if he’s bypassed for the top job.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Job
“Thibs was upset, and Thibs kept telling them (the front office), ‘Sign Lu, I need you to sign Lu,’” Deng told Tshabalala. “So when the [2013-14 season] started, I wasn’t signed for the Bulls, and Thibs decided he was going to make them know how important I am for the team, and ran everything through me — and this is why I love Thibs still today… I was averaging 20 (points per game) at the time when I got traded. When the front office saw that I was averaging 20, obviously now, everybody wanted to pay me more money. So they decided that it was better to trade me before they lose me for nothing.

Knicks interested in Devin Booker?

However, since Leon Rose was hired as president, the player to watch out for most is Suns combo guard Devin Booker, according to league sources. If Rose hires Tom Thibodeau, Towns — a former Rose client — no longer makes sense because of their history. Booker and Towns were Rose clients who played at Kentucky, which means Knicks adviser William Wesley is close to each. Rose has done well with Kentucky standouts because of Wesley.
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Booker, 23, made his first All-Star Game in February. Recent rumblings are Booker could get tired of the perennial losing in Phoenix, which is run by a spendthrift owner in Robert Sarver. “I think he’ll do unbelievable,’’ Booker said of Rose. “One of the most genuine guys I know. One of the most honest guys I know. So I’m happy for him in his new position. I think the Knicks are in really good hands.’’ Last week, Rose said he’s prepared to beef up the offensively challenged Knicks through “the draft, trades and free agency.’’

Becky Hammon on Knicks' radar?

Those expected to be interviewed include potential front-runner Tom Thibodeau (due to his connection to Rose), Kenny Atkinson, Mike Woodson, interim head coach Mike Miller, 76ers assistant Ime Udoka, Bulls assistant Chris Fleming, and Magic assistant Pat Delany. Meanwhile, Spurs assistant Beckey Hammon was described to Begley by a source as “a name to keep an eye on.”
“One, he showed me professionalism, really how to be a student of the game; studying the playbook, studying players…it’s like knowing your enemy better than it knows itself and being prepared. He’s always prepared. He always has a plan A,B,C,D,E,F and G so, that’s one thing that they’re going to get out of Coach Thibbs. Also he expects every player to practice, every player bring their A game and he preaches with defense first; if you play defense you will get offense. So if you want play offense, you got to play defense. I loved that about him and he’s just a hardnosed coach.”
Clifford believes part of the perception is Thibodeau’s fiery demeanor on the sidelines. “The misconception is how personable he is,’’ Clifford told The Post from Orlando, Fla., where he is gearing up for the NBA’s restart. “Guys love him. It’s not going to be every single player, but his relationship with players is a strength. “The biggest thing he helped me with was player development,’’ Clifford added. “If you go back to Larry Johnson, [Latrell Sprewell], Allan [Houston], Marcus [Camby], he had a close working relationship with all those guys. In Houston, it was Tracy [McGrady], Yao [Ming].’’
Clifford believes part of the perception is Thibodeau’s fiery demeanor on the sidelines. “The misconception is how personable he is,’’ Clifford told The Post from Orlando, Fla., where he is gearing up for the NBA’s restart. “Guys love him. It’s not going to be every single player, but his relationship with players is a strength. “The biggest thing he helped me with was player development,’’ Clifford added. “If you go back to Larry Johnson, [Latrell Sprewell], Allan [Houston], Marcus [Camby], he had a close working relationship with all those guys. In Houston, it was Tracy [McGrady], Yao [Ming].’’
Former Knicks coach Larry Brown, who bounced back and forth from the NBA to college during a Hall-of-Fame career, is Calipari’s longtime mentor and speaks to Calipari a couple of times a week. Brown doubts the 61-year-old Calipari would throw his hat in the ring at the last minute and upend the Knicks’ coaching search, in which Tom Thibodeau is the heavy favorite.
The Knicks, after all, have a coaching search to conduct, and throwing a disastrous 2019-20 season in the garbage will be easy. Who wants to remember David Fizdale’s stint, or Steve Mills’ or James Dolan’s issues with arena chants and Spike Lee? Moving forward to the Leon Rose era can’t begin in earnest until he hired his coach. To that end, sources say Tom Thibodeau is the heavy favorite to land the job.
Mike Miller, the interim coach who acquitted himself well after taking over for Fizdale, will get a look. Kenny Atkinson will also be interviewed, according to The Athletic. Around the league, people have cautioned to never count out John Calipari, given the Kentucky coach’s strong connection to Rose’s associate, William Wesley. But the belief is that this is Thibodeau’s to lose, and a source said he’s confident about getting the job — to the point that Thibodeau has made calls to assemble a staff.
No one would be more eager to stage practices of some form this summer than presumptive Knicks coaching favorite Tom Thibodeau. There’s been talk of an NFL version of “OTAs” (organized team activity) in July, August and September. According to an NBA source, the league is motivated to arrange OTAs for the eight teams to prevent players from showing up at random, uncontrolled summer league pickup-game environments.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Job
In raving about Thibodeau in general, Van Gundy touted him as more than a defensive master. The former Bulls and Timberwolves head coach was on Van Gundy’s staffs previously with the Knicks and Rockets. “Tom Thibodeau is a great, great basketball coach – like, great,’’ Van Gundy said on SiriusXM radio. “And I think unfortunately for him the perception of him on the sidelines as this gruff, nasty dude is not even close to who is he personally. Like, he is a great guy. He’s fun to be around. He’s enjoyable to be around, and he loves basketball. He loves NBA basketball and he works at it and he is elite in his profession.”
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search
With the Rockets, Nets and 76ers occupied until late August with the season restart, the Knicks don’t even have competition. “I hope he gets another opportunity to be a head coach because if you look at his body of work he certainly deserves it and any team that may interview him or hire him would be very fortunate to have him as a head coach.,’’ Van Gundy said. “He gets thought of as a defensive coach but if you look at his best teams in Chicago and in Minnesota they were very high level statistically speaking offensive teams and I think it’s been overlooked when people try to evaluate Tom from the outside.”
With that in mind, we reached out to one current NBA coach and one former NBA coach to gauge their thoughts on some Knicks candidates. Below are their thoughts on how Tom Thibodeau would fit in New York… SCHEMES… “He’s an elite defensive coach. There’s no question. Those guys will be playing hard for him and, if they follow his scheme, they’ll defend the pick-and-roll well. They’ll take away drives and control the paint. His schemes are excellent, but as we saw in Minnesota, the schemes alone can’t offset lack of effort from players or subpar defenders. I think RJ Barrett has the frame and athleticism to be a talented defender. Mitchell Robinson has a ton of upside on that end as a shot-blocker. Tom should be able to get the best out of those two and whoever else they put on the court.”
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search
The Knicks’ coaching search won’t officially start until they get binding word that they will not be among the teams invited to Central Florida. Such confirmation, of course, could come as soon as Thursday, when the league’s Board of Governors is scheduled to vote on Silver’s preferred proposal. The expectation in league coaching circles is that the Knicks will move with reasonable swiftness from there, since Tom Thibodeau is regarded as such an overwhelming favorite to replace the interim coach Mike Miller. Leon Rose, the Knicks’ new team president, has a close relationship with Thibodeau from their lengthy stints as agent and client with Creative Artists Agency. Word is that the Knicks, for good measure, have already begun background work on their top target.
If the Knicks decide on Tom Thibodeau as their next head coach, he will have plenty of time to construct a solid staff. But the former Knicks assistant may not need much time. Members of Thibodeau’s past staffs in Chicago and Minnesota are likely eager to join him in New York to revive the dead Knicks, according to sources.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search
If the Knicks decide on Tom Thibodeau as their next head coach, he will have plenty of time to construct a solid staff. But the former Knicks assistant may not need much time. Members of Thibodeau’s past staffs in Chicago and Minnesota are likely eager to join him in New York to revive the dead Knicks, according to sources.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search
Moving forward to the Leon Rose era can’t begin in earnest until he hired his coach. To that end, sources say Tom Thibodeau is the heavy favorite to land the job. Mike Miller, the interim coach who acquitted himself well after taking over for Fizdale, will get a look. Kenny Atkinson will also be interviewed, according to The Athletic. Around the league, people have cautioned to never count out John Calipari, given the Kentucky coach’s strong connection to Rose’s associate, William Wesley. But the belief is that this is Thibodeau’s to lose, and a source said he’s confident about getting the job — to the point that Thibodeau has made calls to assemble a staff.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search
The general impression, however, is the Knicks are a “long shot” to play another game, according to a person debriefed on the call. Indeed, the Knicks seem ambivalent about returning. If their season is over, president Leon Rose could begin a coaching search that will include keeping Mike Miller, but features Tom Thibodeau as top dog.

Knicks interested in Kenny Atkinson

Former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson likely will also receive an interview, sources said. Atkinson and the Nets parted ways in March with the team at 28-34 and on the way to the postseason during a difficult fourth season at the helm. Atkinson helped turn the franchise around during his tenure, taking it from a 20-win team in 2016-17 to a playoff team last season and one that proved to be an attractive destination for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency. He was a Knicks assistant for four seasons under head coach Mike D’Antoni.
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Knicks coaching search: Thibodeau the top candidate

The New York Knicks and president of basketball operations Leon Rose will soon embark on the search process for a new head coach and Tom Thibodeau is atop the list of targets, sources told The Athletic. The Knicks are believed to be targeting a decision in the next few weeks, sources said. Interim coach Mike Miller has left a strong impression throughout the franchise, including in his time since Rose assumed control of the front office. Miller is expected to receive an interview when the Knicks do start formally talking to prospective head coaches, according to league sources, after stabilizing the team following a 4-18 start that led to David Fizdale’s firing.
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After taking a step back, traveling around the league, and watching other coaches, Thibodeau sounded like a man with a broader perspective talking to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on The Woj Pod. Maybe his greatest lesson was watching Doc Rivers and the Clippers. “I couldn’t believe the shootarounds, I was like, ‘If I did that, they’d hang me.’ They were phenomenal. But [Rivers] is the best at managing the day before, in between, they had that day off, but everybody came in. And their young guys really work, and the older guys were getting treatment and recovery. So understanding who your team is and what everyone needs. “And there’s more to it because you have to be careful not to divide your team.”
“The way everyone’s managing with load management and where your team is, sports scientists, so it’s different. And if your team is young and you’re in a rebuild, you’re probably practicing more than an older veteran team,” Thibodeau said. “In some cases where the team is mixed, there’s almost two practices going on in one, where your young guys are getting the work they need, and the older vets are in the weight room getting strength and conditioning.”
The Post reported Thibodeau will be sought by Leon Rose if the new Knicks team president doesn’t keep interim coach Mike Miller. Multiple insiders believe Thibodeau is the favorite. The Post also reported this week the Nets and Rockets should have strong interest in him. “I think we all have questions to answer as coaches,’’ Thibodeau said. “The big thing is, oftentimes there’s things that are being said where there’s no validity to them, they’re being painted by people that have never even been around you. And then I would say to all those people, the facts are what the facts are. To look into the facts, to do your research, to look into the numbers and to also talk to former players, the guys who have played for me. I think if you did that, you would find what the truth is. “There are certain things that I do believe in. But as we all know, our league is always changing. It never stays the same and it never has, nor will it ever. So you have to keep adapting as time goes on.”
As for the teams said to have an interest in him, Thibodeau downplayed it. “They’re just rumors,’’ he said. “And this time of year, everything is on hold. Normally you would have some openings and right now there aren’t any openings. So you don’t want to speculate on what jobs could open. That’s what you have an agent for. He’ll certainly, at some point, look at if there is an opportunity, whether it be a good match or not. “I’m still under contract with Minnesota, so I feel like I’m in a position where I can be patient.”
“I think we all have questions to answer as coaches,’’ Thibodeau said. “The big thing is, oftentimes there’s things that are being said where there’s no validity to them, they’re being painted by people that have never even been around you. And then I would say to all those people, the facts are what the facts are. To look into the facts, to do your research, to look into the numbers and to also talk to former players, the guys who have played for me. I think if you did that, you would find what the truth is.”
If you follow the NBA, you know that one of the criticisms of Tom Thibodeau is something like this: his intensity and his approach to practices/playing time wear players out. Whether that’s true or not depends on who you talk to and what their perspective is on the matter. Thibodeau, a strong candidate for the Knicks’ head coaching job if interim head coach Mike Miller isn’t retained, addressed those criticisms in an interview on ESPN’s First Take earlier this week.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search