Knicks eyeing long-term extension for head coach

New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau with guard Jalen Brunson (11) against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks will look to secure their head coach for the long haul. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the franchise is preparing to offer a long-term deal that will approach an annual value of $10 million to keep Tom Thibodeau around for the next several years.

“Tom Thibodeau is one of the best coaches in the NBA… both sides will discuss a new deal in the offseason,” Charania said on FanDuel TV’s Run it Back. “The Knicks very much want to lock in Tom Thibodeau long-term.”

Tom Thibodeau led the turnaround of the Knicks franchise

After a decades-long search for their franchise head coach, the Knicks finally found a good one in Thibodeau. When the team hired him in 2020, the hope was that he would be starting point of a turnaround following a dark period that included six different head coaches and the worst record in the NBA from 2014-2020.

Now, it seems as though the Knicks view him as the guy that can lead the organization to a championship, evidenced by their remarkable playoff run while handling a severely shorthanded roster.

Thibodeau’s Knicks are just one win away from doing something they haven’t done since Jeff Van Gundy was the head coach: make the conference finals. They currently hold a 3-2 series lead over the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, an astonishing run considering that they have been without OG Anunoby, Julius Randle, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Mitchell Robinson for the majority of this series.

Dec 5, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau talks with New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) on the sideline against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first half at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau talks with New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) on the sideline against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first half at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Thibodeau’s time as Knicks head coach has been very successful

The recent success of the team isn’t anything new, as Thibodeau has endured a strong term as New York’s head coach and has cemented himself as one of the best head coaches in Knicks history.

Thibodeau’s tenure as Knicks coach has featured three postseason appearances in four seasons and a 14-13 playoff win-loss record, with a regular season record of 175-143. Those 175 wins rank fifth amongst Knicks head coaches all-time, and is 48 victories behind Pat Riley for fourth. This season, New York won 50 games during the regular season and finished as the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

If an extension is reached, Thibodeau will tie Hubie Brown for the fourth-longest tenured head coach in franchise history next season and could pass Van Gundy’s mark of seven seasons for the third-longest, depending on the length of the extension.

Following very successful seasons for the Knicks, it is only a matter of time before the head coach who has led them to that success gets rewarded with a long-term paycheck.

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