New York Knicks officially hire Tom Thibodeau as head coach

New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau

The New York Knicks announced on Thursday morning that they’ve hired Tom Thibodeau to be the 31st head coach in franchise history.

Team president Leon Rose calls Thibodeau a “proven winner” who brings “leadership” to the table.

“Tom Thibodeau is a proven winner who gets the most out of the players and teams that he has coached,” said Leon Rose, president, New York Knicks. “He will bring leadership, accountability and a hard-working mentality to our organization. We are excited to bring him back to New York and look forward to collaborating with him and his staff toward a successful future.”

Thibodeau says he’s “grateful” for the opportunity to coach the Knicks.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to this historic franchise as head coach and work alongside a talented front office that I have great trust in and respect for,” said Thibodeau. “I know what New York is like when the Knicks are successful and there is nothing comparable. I look forward to being a part of what we are building here and can’t wait to get to work.”

Thibodeau was most recently the head coach and president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2016-19. Prior to patrolling the sidelines in Minnesota, Thibodeau was the head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 2010-15, where he won Coach of the Year honors in 2011.

Thibodeau has 20 seasons of experience as an assistant coach under his belt split between the Knicks, Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics.

The Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale 22 games into the 2019-20 NBA regular season (4-18) and promoted assistant Mike Miller. As interim head coach, Miller went 17-27.

President Steve Mills was fired in February and replaced by Leon Rose, who has retained general manager Scott Perry while hiring Walt Perrin as assistant general manager, William Wesley as executive vice president/senior basketball advisor and Tom Thibodeau as head coach.

Jason Kidd the frontrunner to be the New York Knicks head coach

New York Knicks, Jason Kidd

According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Jason Kidd is the new frontrunner to be the New York Knicks’ next head coach.

Bondy says Kidd “is viewed by the Knicks as a conduit to attracting free agents” but adds “there are also people in the organization who are skeptical of his coaching ability following underwhelming stints in Brooklyn and Milwaukee.”

Kidd is an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers under head coach Frank Vogel. After retiring from the NBA in 2013 (Kidd’s last season was with the Knicks in the 2012-13 season) Kidd was named the Brooklyn Nets head coach. After a supposed power-play move within the organization, Brooklyn traded Kidd to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2014.

Kidd coached the Bucks for three and a half seasons, getting fired in 2018. During Kidd’s time in Milwaukee, he coached Giannis Antetokounmpo, a free agent in 2021. The 2019 NBA Most Valuable Player Award recipient reportedly had a sound relationship with Kidd. It has been reported that some NBA teams feel Kidd could be the “link” to Antetokounmpo.

Bondy says that potential assistants under Kidd include Kenny Payne, Rod Strickland and Mike Woodson, the Knicks head coach from 2012-14, and a reported candidate for the current coaching vacancy.

The New York Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale in December 2019 after going 4-18. They promoted assistant Mike Miller to interim head coach. The Knicks went 17-27 under Miller.

The team fired president Steve Mills in February, replacing him with former agent Leon Rose. Under Rose, the Knicks have retained Scott Perry as general manager, hired Walt Perrin as assistant general manager, and hired William Wesley as executive vice president/senior basketball advisor, among other moves.

Tom Thibodeau has been the long-standing favorite to be named the Knicks head coach given his relationship with Rose and Wesley by means of Creative Artists Agency. A source tells Bondy that owner James Dolan has been “unwilling” to meet Thibodeau’s contract requests and any deal between the two sides at this point would require a “concession.”

New York Knicks: Leon Rose praises Mike Miller, talks head-coaching search

New York Knicks, Leon Rose

New York Knicks president Leon Rose was interviewed by MSG Networks‘ Mike Breen Wednesday night on the “MSG 150 At Home.” The interview marked the first time Rose spoke publicly/virtually since joining the organization in February.

Among the many topics discussed were the team’s head-coaching situation. Rose praised Mike Miller, who took over as interim head coach after David Fizdale was fired in December 2019, for his efforts in leading the Knicks this season while noting how he hopes to have a head coach in place by the end of July.

“What I witnessed before I was here and what I saw being around Mike Miller – first class, did a great job in a very difficult situation, and we’re so appreciative of that. Mike is the first person that we talked to,” said Rose, who hasn’t had an introductory press conference yet.. “We’re setting it up in two phases. We’re having shorter meetings, kind of break the ice, with the various candidates, and then we’re going to have full interviews with the candidates, and Mike, obviously, is one of those candidates. We’re anticipating that to go to mid-to-late July, and hopefully by the end of July make a decision, whether it’s to keep Mike or to go in a different direction.

“But it’s really exciting. There’s a lot of really great candidates, and I’m not going to get into who the candidates are, but it’s exciting. We’re looking at a lot of different people with a lot of different mindsets, philosophies, and for me personally, this is educational, and I need to make sure that we go through this process and we dot every ‘I’ and cross every ‘T’ in order to make the right decision.”

Rose said he wants the team’s head coach to be a “leader” who will be “collaborative.”

“We want to find the right leader that can develop our young players, as well as hold everyone accountable and take us from development to becoming a perennial winner. We also want somebody that we think will be collaborative with the front office and someone that, when you’re in that huddle and you’re looking in that coach’s eyes, every player that’s looking at him knows that that person is driving the ship and going to get the job done.”

Rose and the Knicks have made a handful of front-office moves since the NBA season was suspended. They retained general manager Scott Perry, while hiring Walt Perrin as assistant general manager for college scouting, Brock Aller as vice president of basketball and strategic planning and William Wesley as executive vice president/senior basketball advisor, among others.

Knicks interviewing Jason Kidd, making him 11th reported head-coaching candidate

New York Knicks, Jason Kidd

The New York Knicks have received permission from the Los Angeles Lakers to interview Jason Kidd for their head-coaching vacancy per Marc Stein of the New York Times.

Kidd is currently in his first season as an assistant with the Lakers on head coach Frank Vogel’s coaching staff.

Steve Popper of Newsday says that Kidd would have “interest” in coaching the Knicks. Popper also says that some teams see the former point guard as a “link” to Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, a free agent after the 2020-21 NBA season.

Kidd rounded out his NBA career with the Knicks (the 2012-13 NBA season) and is a 2018 inductee into the Naismith Hall of Fame. Outside of the Knicks, he played for the New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks (twice).

Kidd was named the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets in 2013 and had a reported power struggle with management after the 2013-14 season, leading Kidd to be traded to the Bucks. He coached the Bucks for three and a half seasons. Kidd was fired during the 2017-18 season and didn’t coach in the NBA the ensuing season.

Kidd is the 11th reported candidate for the Knicks’ head-coaching position. The others are interim head coach Mike Miller, former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau, former Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, former Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, Philadelphia 76ers assistant Ime Udoka, Orlando Magic assistant Pat Delany, Chicago Bulls assistant Chris Fleming, San Antonio Spurs assistant Will Hardy, Dallas Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley and Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Brown.

The Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale in December 2019 and promoted Mike Miller. President Steve Mills was fired in February and replaced by former agent Leon Rose.

Thibodeau, a former CAA client under Rose, has been considered the favorite for the job. The former Timberwolves and Chicago Bulls head coach was an assistant for the Knicks from 1996-2003. According to SNY‘s Ian Begley, Atkinson has “legitimate internal support within the organization” to get the job.

Knicks expected to interview 76ers assistant Ime Udoka

New York Knicks, Ime Udoka

Add a new name to the New York Knicks‘ head coaching search: Ime Udoka.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Knicks plan to interview Udoka to be their new head coach. Udoka is currently an assistant coach under Brett Brown with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Prior to the 2019-20 season, Udoka spent eight seasons as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs.

Udoka is the fifth coach the Knicks have expressed interest in. They’re expected to interview interim Mike Miller, former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau, former Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson and Mike Woodson, who was head coach of the Knicks from 2012-14.

Udoka played eight seasons in the NBA. He spent those seasons with the Knicks, Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers. Udoka appeared in eight games for the Knicks in the 2005-06 season.

The New York Knicks aren’t the only ones in on Udoka:

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reported last week that Udoka is the “frontrunner” to take over for Jim Boylen as head coach of the Chicago Bulls.

The Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale and lead assistant Keith Smart 22 games into the regular season. Miller was promoted to interim head coach, and the Knicks went 17-27 under his command.

They finished the truncated 2019-20 season 21-45. Prior to their season’s conclusion, the Knicks fired president Steve Mills. He was replaced with former agent Leon Rose, who retained general manager Scott Perry. The Knicks have since hired Walt Perrin, formerly of the Utah Jazz, as their assistant general manager.

Hiring a head coach is New York’s first order of business this offseason. Simultaneously, they have three selections in the 2020 NBA Draft: their own first and second-round pick and the Los Angeles Clippers’ first-round pick, acquired in a midseason trade that sent forward Marcus Morris to the West Coast. The Knicks are also projected to have upwards of $30 million in cap space.

New York Knicks: Kentucky assistant thinks Kevin Knox can succeed with new coaching staff

New York Knicks, Kevin Knox

Kevin Knox has been in and out of the New York Knicks’ starting lineup over his first two years in the NBA, starting 61 of a possible 140 games. Subsequently, Knox, selected by the Knicks with the ninth pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, has struggled to get into a groove.

However, Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne feels Knox, his former player, can get on the right track with a new coaching staff per an interview with Marc Berman of the New York Post.

“No question, I think a new staff comes in and can evaluate what the kid is and tell him what he needs him to do,’’ Payne said. “He’s starting with a clean slate. There’s no prejudging of who he is. He can go out and feel comfortable and do the things to help the team win. I think he’s coming back with a new and different fire. With a little adversity, you can attain greatness. And he’s been through it.”

New York is currently in search of a head coach for the 2020-21 NBA season.

Payne says being comfortable is pivotal in Knox turning a corner.

“He’s had people question his desire, question his toughness, question his defense, question his shooting,’’ Payne said. “In my opinion, great players, good players in the NBA, it’s not can he shoot, defend, rebound. It’s about if he’s secure and comfortable doing it, getting him more comfortable. Getting him in a more aggressive mindset to do it is more important.’’ 

Payne doesn’t think talent is the issue for Knox.

“Things changed this year where they were going to hold him a little more accountable,’’ Payne said. “The first year was ‘Let’s feature him, get comfortable and let him play though his mistakes.’ Sometimes young players like Kevin have to feel comfortable. I personally don’t think it’s about his talent. He’s talented enough. It’s about how he digests the game. How he feels about himself. Is he in rhythm playing basketball or playing with a team that is playing a little selfish and the ball is not moving as much? Or the system and schemes offensively and defensively is where he’s not secure.”

Payne feels Knox is in store for a productive season.

“He’s a great kid and high-character person. I’m curious to see what the next year brings for him. I think this year will be a good year for him.”

Knox is averaging 9.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game while shooting 36.7 percent from the field and 33.7 percent from beyond the arc across his two years in the NBA.

Charlie Ward Believes New York Knicks Interim Coach Mike Miller “Could Be The Next Jeff Van Gundy”

New York Knicks, Mike Miller

Former New York Knicks point guard and college football Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward sat down with media companies Knick Of Time Show and Knickfantv June 3rd, 2020 for a YouTube live stream. Charlie Ward shared his perspective on many things during this sit down including his thoughts on the impact of the murder of George Floyd by police and his former days in the NBA playing for the New York Knicks. Charlie Ward also touched on the New York Knicks’ current coaching situation.

Charlie Ward mentioned he had Jeff Van Gundy on his Chalk Talk With Charlie Ward series about a week ago. Ward states:

“He’s itching to get back in, but of course he wants the right situation. I know that he said he has turned down some jobs and he hadn’t been able to get some jobs that he really wants which he thought would be a good situation for him. I don’t know if the Knicks right now are in a position to have a guy like him because of their roster and I know there has been talks about one of his understudies, Coach Tom Thibodeau. So I think at this point it’s hard when you don’t have the stability in any organization I don’t care what organization it is, you got to have stability if you want to be successful long term’.

Charlie Ward speaking about Jeff Van Gundy potentially joining the Knicks again:

‘He understands what it takes to be successful and right know the stability piece is not in place for a guy like him”.

Ward then states his support for Mike Miller:

Coach Miller came in and did a great job of rallying the troops and at least making them respectable every game. For the most part they were competing close to winning and he could be the next Jeff Van Gundy.

New York Knicks top coaching candidate does have other coaching options

New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau

The New York Knicks top coaching candidate might have his sights set elsewhere.  Tom Thibodeau could have possible interest in going to Houston.

If Mike D’Antoni is relieved of his coaching duties, Thibs may want to go to the Rockets over the Knicks.  This is from New York Post, their sources and Marc Berman.

Honestly, would you blame Thibs?  The Rockets are competing for championship.  They have the tools, sort of, in place to win a title.  The Knicks are very far from that.

The Knicks are rebuilding and why it would be nice to have a winning coach, other places are more intriguing.  Houston is certainly one.

Everyone has been talking about how Thibs lost in Minnesota with developing those players.  That’s one of the concerns for Knicks fans, if they hire Thibs.  However, people forget the Thibs had a young team in Chicago.  Rose and company were in their early-to-mid 20’s and made a run for a title.  So Thibs does know how to develop young talent.  Sometimes it doesn’t work.

Word on the street is Mike Miller could return as coach.  That’s now a possibility.  Miller did the best he could with what he was dealt with after David Fizdale being fired.  He did what he could to retain his job for next season as well.  The New York Knicks need to figure out who is the best possible candidate to develop the players during this rebuild.

The New York Knicks 2019-20 has officially come to and end

New York Knicks, Elfrid Payton

The New York Knicks season is officially over.  The NBA will be voting today on playing out the regular season in a new proposal.

The Knicks are currently in the bottom 8 in the league.  The new proposal, via ESPNs Woj, twenty-two teams will be invited to Orlando.  Thirteen Western Conference teams and 9 from the East.  Their will be a play-in for the 8th seed in each conference. This is to take place July 31st to October 12th.

This is good and bad for the Knicks and their fans.

First the bad.  We all want to see more Knicks basketball.  Despite another season going horrible for the team, we still want to watch the blue and orange.  No matter how bad the Knicks are, there are still plenty of loyal fans that will root for their team no matter what. The Knicks fans are them.  The season was cut short due to COVID-19.

The good in all of this is the Knicks can begin looking for their next head coach.  Everyone knows that Tom Thibodeau is the leader in the clubhouse, currently, for the job.  But with this organization, you truly never know what is going to happen.  Others who will get an interview are Mike Miller and Kenny Atkinson.

This also will give the Knicks an ample amount of time to begin scouting the draft.  This is to stay they haven’t already since there might‘be been a feeling their season was already over.

Knicks fans already don’t agree on who the next coach should be.  That comes as no surprise Knicks fans can’t agree on anything. But whoever it is, the Knicks faithful will be behind them.  At least for a little while.

If the Knicks do hire Thibs, some may say the re-build is over.  The team will be looking for compete in the 2020-21 season.

The Knicks have the tools in place to be successful down the road. RJ Barrett snd Mitchell Robinson to start.  The new front office is set and ready to turn this around.  It’s now officially the new beginning for the New York Knicks.

Why the New York Knicks could stick with Mike Miller as their head coach for 2020 season

New York Knicks, Mike Miller

Should the New York Knicks keep Mike Miller as their head coach moving forward?

The last time the New York Knicks were a playoff-caliber team was during the 2012-13 season. Since that year, the Knicks have rotated through seven new head coaches, all of which have failed to establish themselves in New York and build a successful team. It is unusual for a team to go through seven different leaders and not find a capable one.

This reality attests to upper management’s inability to locate and hire talent. Last season, the Knicks stuck with David Fizdale, who was fired this past December and replaced by G-League coach Mike Miller.

The 2019-20 season has been a breeding ground for potential head-coaching options, like Tom Thibodeau and more.

However, some could make the argument that Miller is just as capable as any of them, having helped the Knicks to a 17-27 record after starting the year 4-18 under Fizdale. Miller inherited a “flawed” roster and youth talent that was in need of rejuvenation.

Miller went on a few small win streaks and helped the confidence and motivation of the team, and with such little time and assistance, he managed to extract some sort of positivity from the year.

With the roster full of young talent and potential, Miller could offer the most in terms of value and preparation. He has worked diligently with the next younger players in the G-League, making him a quality replacement for Fizdale in the long run. The Knicks could look to give him the 2020-21 season to prove his worth, and then move on if he is unable to show any signs of progression.

Giving him a larger sample size of games to justify his retention seems fair, but with the Knicks overhauling the front office and hiring Leon Rose as their new president, anything could change. Rose, who was a former super agent for the NBA, understands the monetary side of players in contract negotiations, and he could look to inflict his mentality on the coaching staff and piece together his own grouping.