New York Knicks add ‘Baby Thibodeau’ Darren Erman to coaching staff

Tom Thibodeau has plucked one of his disciples from the Boston Celtics’ G League affiliate Maine Red Claws to join him at New York Knicks.

Darren Erman, who coached Tacko Fall in the Red Claws last season, is set to join the Knicks coaching staff, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.



Erman, a former lawyer-turned coach, has worked his way into the NBA.

He started as an assistant to legendary coach Bob Hurley in St. Anthony High School in Jersey City. A chance meeting with former Boston Celtics’ forward Brian Scalabrine in one of the NBA player’s camps paved the way for his entry to the league.

In 2005, Scalabrine brought Erman with him to Boston as his skills trainer. After Erman’s late-night sessions extended to Rajon Rondo and Tony Allen, where Thibodeau was also a regular fixture, the Celtics hired him to join their staff. Erman and Thibodeau’s bond became rock solid that Rondo described the former as “Baby Thibodeau.”

“He (Erman) is the best guy in the league to me as far as scouting reports. I call him Baby Thibodeau. Thibs is the best at it, to me, defensively. He’s the best defensive coach I’ve ever played for. (Erman is) pretty much a miniature Thibodeau,” said Rondo in a 2014 masslive.com story.

Erman and Thibodeau won a championship together under Doc Rivers in 2008 in Boston.

Erman earned a reputation as a defensive savant, learning from Thibodeau and Rivers.

(Erman) does the same thing, he works just as hard,” Rondo added. “You can’t really beat him to the gym. When Thibs was here, you couldn’t. I’d try to get to the gym at 7 in the morning; the only guy there was Thibs in his office. And (Erman is) pretty much the same way. It’s paid off for Thibs, and it’s only a matter of time before (Erman) becomes a head coach.”

In 2011, he left the Celtics and joined the Golden State Warriors as an assistant coach. But his tenure there ended in controversy. He was fired in 2014 for secretly recording conversations between coaches and players.

Erman survived the ordeal and returned to the Celtics as director of scouting. He later left again and became an associate head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans.

But last season, taking a cue from the success of former G League coach Nick Nurse with the Toronto Raptors, he left the Pelicans to coach the Red Claws.

He led the Red Claws to a G League fourth-best 28-14 record (third in the Eastern Conference). Under his watch, Fall was selected to the G League’s All-Defensive team, while Tremont Waters was named Rookie of the Year. Romeo Langford also credited his stint with Erman’s Maine Claws in becoming a rotation player for the Celtics.

Erman will join a Thibodeau coaching staff with a strong player development background.

Meanwhile, the Knicks have also hired Gabriel Snider as an assistant video coordinator. Snider has spent the last season with the Milwaukee Bucks in the same capacity. Prior to his Bucks stint, the former Indiana Bloomington graduate assistant has interned for the Detroit Pistons.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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