People with an acquired interest in coaching research have thought for weeks that Leon Rose would be more likely to hire Tom Thibodeau. There is legitimate support within the organization for Kenny Atkinson, but nothing leads to think that Thibodeau is not the most likely hiring.
Things can – and often do – change during the interview and negotiation process. So I wouldn’t rule out the other candidates at this point.
But if the Knicks end up hiring Thibodeau, there will be concern among Knicks fans for the coach. And it’s understandable, especially with the way things ended up in Minnesota.
It didn’t go as planned by Thibodeau or the T-Wolves. And it is absolutely right to judge Thibodeau by end in Minnesota.
But it is worth noting that Thibodeau would not have assumed the role of president in New York, as he did with the Timberwolves. This is Rose’s job.
So Thibodeau’s focus would be exclusively on coaching. That was Thibodeau’s role with Chicago, and it worked well enough for the Bulls. Just something worth considering while analyzing your application.
Also, reports from Thibodeau’s time in Chicago indicated that he and senior management had no good working relationships. You can assume it won’t be a problem in New York because Rose and Thibodeau have a close relationship.
Atkinson, Mike Woodson, interim head coach Mike Miller and Thibodeau are all expected to speak to the Knicks while seeking coaching. Mark Jackson and Jason Kidd also have fans in the organization, but it is unclear whether they will receive interviews during the research.