From the moment the Knicks hired former agent Leon Rose to head their basketball operations, Tom Thibodeau has been considered the frontrunner to be the team’s next head coach. Rose and Thibodeau have a decades-long relationship, and Thibodeau reportedly wants the job.
Now comes another report, this time from the well-connected Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, that the job is Thibodeau’s to lose.
Moving forward to the Leon Rose era can’t begin in earnest until he hired his coach. To that end, sources say Tom Thibodeau is the heavy favorite to land the job… But the belief is that this is Thibodeau’s to lose, and a source said he’s confident about getting the job — to the point that Thibodeau has made calls to assemble a staff.
There will be others interviewed, Kenny Atkinson and interim coach Mike Miller are on the list, there may be more. However, the buzz around the league is this will be Thibodeau’s job next season.
Thibodeau wants to coach in the NBA again. Is he the right fit? That’s up for debate. Thibodeau has a history as a win-now coach who leans on veterans, he’s struggled to build relationships with some young players such as Karl-Anthony Towns, and he’s clashed with management at more than one stop. For his part, Thibodeau says he has grown and will bring a new perspective to his next job.
Whether New York builds with its young core or trades for a star (if one becomes available), it sounds like Thibodeau will be tasked with turning this team into a playoff team again. That might take a couple of seasons, hopefully, this time Knicks management can be patient with that process.