Ever since Leon Rose took over as Knicks team president, Tom Thibodeau has been mentioned as a favorite to take over the head coaching position. The former Bulls and Timberwolves coach is a friend of Rose, is represented by CAA, and remains a huge name in the coaching community.
One question remained, however: After falling out hard in Minnesota, is Thibs still a hot commodity on the market? Apparently he is, according to Marc Berman of The Post:
The Post reported in February that Thibodeau would be on Leon Rose’s short list and looked to be a favorite if the new team president chose not to bring back Mike Miller as head coach.
While his reputation took a hit with the failure in bringing Jimmy Butler to Minnesota and allegedly mishandling young talent, sources told The Post the Nets and Houston will have strong interest, too. Houston’s Mike D’Antoni will be a free agent.
Berman goes on to say that Nets stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are fans of Thibs, who worked with them as an assistant coach for Team USA. The real surprise here would be the interest out of Houston. Thibs doesn’t have a reputation as a big stats guy, though he has apparently been hanging out with fellow coaches around the world to diversify his repertoire.
And that might be the key to a Thibodeau renaissance. His ICE defense is no longer en vogue in the NBA, and he was never known as an offensive mastermind. Can Thibs reinvent himself? And will that happen in New York? I’d bet big on him joining the Knicks at some point — all the signs are pointing in that direction — but head coaches tend to get dumber after joining this franchise. Hopefully Thibs would be the exception.