Tom Thibodeau has been linked to the New York Knicks‘ head-coaching position from the moment Leon Rose took over as team president. Rose, the former head of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), has worked with Thibodeau in the past.
Knicks legend Patrick Ewing called Thibodeau a “great coach” in an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio’s Frank Isola and Sarah Kustok (quote by means of Forbes’ Adam Zagoria).
“I think Tom’s a great coach. I had the opportunity to him being on the staff when he played, and also work with him. He’s been around for a lot of years, he knows the game in and out. He’s gonna do everything that he needs to do in terms of having his team prepared to play every night. I think he’d be a great candidate for that job.”
Thibodeau was an assistant coach with the Knicks from 1996-2003, which included four seasons of coaching Ewing. Thibodeau was previously an assistant for the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers. He joined the Houston Rockets as an assistant for the 2003-04 NBA season and was present through 2007.
Thibodeau was hired by the Boston Celtics as an assistant in 2007, where he’d reside for three seasons before becoming head coach of the Chicago Bulls. He spent five seasons in Chicago, winning Coach of the Year honors in 2011. Thibodeau was fired after the 2014-15 season and named the Timberwolves head coach in 2016.
The former Knicks assistant spent two and a half seasons in Minnesota, making the playoffs in his second season. Prior to his 2019 termination, Thibodeau was also Minnesota’s president of basketball operations.
The Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale in December 2019, and named assistant Mike Miller as interim head coach. President Steve Mills was axed in February and replaced by Rose. New York has hired Brock Aller as a chief strategist, Walt Perrin as assistant general manager and William Wesley as executive vice president/senior basketball advisor among other front-office hires under Rose.
The Knicks are reportedly considering 11 people to be their head coach for the 2020-21 season.