Tom Thibodeau is considered the first place for the Knicks coaching job. He is the most experienced candidate, the only one with a winning record and the only one with a relationship with the team president. He has also already been interviewed for the position.
Is that what the team needs?
Thibodeau’s (352/246) victory / loss record is very impressive and I admit it’s the obvious choice. That is, if the Knicks are abandoning a rebuild again. In my opinion, Thibodeau is more suitable for a more veteran team. If the Knicks start bargaining with their draft choices and chase the veteran players, thus going with the win-now scenario, they will surely need a coach like Thibs.
The Knicks have a team made up mostly of young players, including free agents obtained last June. All but two are under 30 years old, nine are under 25 years old. Thibodeau has been criticized for the number of minutes his top players play and for how hard he tries them. How will it work with the young Knicks core?
Mitchell Robinson and RJ Barrett have emerged as the stars of being, how will those minutes and hardcore practices work on these athletes? Will they turn into glass and be constantly out for seasons at a time?
Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford disagrees with what everyone says about his friend. They worked together as assistants under Jeff Van Gundy, and he believes they are getting the wrong impression of Thibodeau because of his antics on the sidelines, screaming at the players. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Clifford believes that we are all wrong about Tom:
The wrong idea is how nice he is. Kids love it. It won’t be for every single player, but his relationship with the players is a strength. The most important thing he helped me with is player development.
He is a teacher. He knows how to communicate effectively with players of different personalities, he connects.