After a little scare with the rumors of Jason Kidd being the front-runner for the head coaching position, we got breaking news of Tom Thibodeau signing a 5 year deal with the New York Knicks!
Even though Kenny Atkinson was my favorite candidate, I am very pleased with Tom. Honestly, I’m just glad it wasn’t Jason Kidd.
Lets take a look at Tom’s coaching career so far (via Wikipedia):
On August 30, 2007, Thibodeau was named associate head coach of the Boston Celtics. The Celtics hoped the hiring would boost their defense. Eventually, he helped the Celtics become the best defensive team in the league. On November 4, 2007, Thibodeau took over head coaching duties against the Toronto Raptors in place of Doc Rivers, who was unable to coach due to the death of his father earlier that day. Thibodeau led the Celtics to the best rating in several defensive categories in 2007-2008 and was a key factor in containing Kobe Bryant in the finals.
On June 2, 2010, Thibodeau interviewed with officials from the Bulls for their vacant head coach position. On June 23, he was confirmed as the Bulls’ head coach. Thibodeau was named the NBA Coach of the Year on May 1, 2011, after tying the record for most wins by a rookie head coach with 62. He also led the Bulls to their first 50-win season and first division title since the MJ era.
On March 19, 2012, Thibodeau became the fastest coach in NBA history to earn 100 career victories. He accomplished this in 130 games.
In Game 1 of the Bulls’ first-round series against the Sixers, Derrick Rose tore his ACL. Commenting on Thibodeau’s decision to leave Rose in the game, Bulls General Manager Gar Forman stated, “There is absolutely no issue there. It’s a playoff game.”
Thibodeau finished second to Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs in 2012 NBA Coach of the Year voting. The Bulls’ season was cut short after a 4–2 defeat by the 76ers.
Rose missed the entire 2012–13 season, but despite his absence, the Bulls finished 45-37, second in the Central Division (behind the Indiana Pacers) and 5th in their conference. They defeated the Brooklyn Nets 4-3 (after leading 3-1) in the first round of the playoffs and lost to the Miami Heat 4–1 in the next round.
Thibodeau finished third in 2014 NBA Coach of the Year voting. He led the second year straight Derrick Rose-less Bulls to the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls’ season ended with a 4-1 series loss to the fifth-seeded Wizards.
Tension between the Bulls’ front office and Thibodeau grew considerably over the 2014-15 season, which ended in a six-game series loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Shortly thereafter, on May 28, 2015, the Bulls decided to move in a different direction and let go of Thibodeau.
On April 20, 2016, it was announced that the Minnesota Timberwolves had hired Thibodeau as head coach and president of basketball operations. The Timberwolves had spent the better part of a decade in the NBA wilderness, having not made the playoffs since 2004. In his second season, the Timberwolves made their first playoff appearance in 14 years. Despite having success, the Timberwolves dismissed Thibodeau from his positions as head coach and president of basketball operations on January 6, 2019.
And now we are here, over a year later, with Thibs now becoming the Knicks 7th head coach since the 2012 season. Hopefully, he has kept his intensity and defensive schemes, while modernizing his offensive schemes and minute distribution.