On the first day of training camp for the New York Knicks, there was no drama, there was no animosity, and there was no hostility. They were clear-cut signs of progression and development for a franchise that has been lost in the abyss for many years. However, the tides are shifting with head coach Tom Thibodeau and a strong staff of executives that are helping piece together a team that relies on stingy defense. While defense can limit opposing teams, the Knicks need to be productive themselves on offense, which is why they went out and signed a variety of players to help at specific positions.
Spending money and acquiring talent was a priority this off-season, but they didn’t do so blindly. The front office signed players to healthy contracts that include well-timed outs. The players they brought in are committed to helping build something special, which plays into the newfound mentality of the organization: a focus on improvement and strength.
On Tuesday, Thibodeau mentioned how players are coming in after dark to continue working on their attributes and developing more skills. In fact, it’s been a challenge to keep track of their hard work, putting young assistants to the task of monitoring them.
“Part of the challenge, to be honest with you, has been we have so many guys coming back at night, we wanted our video guys, our young guys, who are getting started, and are all capable of being coaches one day. But I think that’s a big part of development. That’s how your players get better.”
Thibodeau also mentioned how owner Jim Dolan has contributed heavily toward giving them the resources necessary to build a winning team. Dolan has been quite involved in the past, but it seems as if he’s taking himself out of a more prominent role and handing over basketball operations. Taking a backseat in the processes, he has provided monetary/connection resources to provide Thibodeau with a stellar coaching staff that has helped the Knicks improve dramatically in just one season.
“Jim Dolan has given us everything we’ve asked for in terms of whether it’s technology, adding staff, analytics people, whatever we need to help us get better. He’s provided that and Leon and Wes and Scott have been great in terms of supporting that.”
Wholesale changes have commenced behind the scenes, which have led to success on the court. Without good coaching and player development, nothing matters at the end of the day.