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Tom Thibodeau Is The Player Development Coach The Knicks Need

Photo Credit: CBS Sports

The New York Knicks have hired Tom Thibodeau to be their head coach, according to ESPN. Hopefully, Thibodeau can bring some stability and consistency to the Knicks, who have had eight head coaches in the last decade.

Thibodeau has spent eight seasons with the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves, compiling a record of 352-246 (.589). Amongst all coaches with 500 or more career games, Thibodeau is 11th in career winning percentage.

It has been a while since the Knicks hired such an experienced and successful head coach like Thibodeau, maybe since Mike D’Antoni took over in 2008.

Thibodeau will be tasked with developing the young talent that the Knicks have accumulated over the last few seasons.

For Thibodeau to be successful, the Knicks need to have patience with him and the young roster. If the Knicks front office puts playoff expectations on the Knicks next season, prepare for another dumpster-fire.

After the Knicks won 17 games during the 2018-2019 season, the front office stupidly put playoff expectations on a roster that had no business being a playoff team. After a very poor start under David Fizdale, the Knicks fired him to deflect from their own mistakes in the front office.

The Knicks won’t find any success under Thibodeau without placing effort into developing RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, and Frank Ntilikina. Without establishing a core of young players, none of the top free agents will have any desire coming to play in New York.

Considering how most Knicks head coaches this decade do not last longer than three seasons, if Thibodeau stays for the entirety of his five-year contract, that’ll be a sign of positive change for the Knicks. However, the odds of that seem slim.

Nothing that Knicks fans want more is some stability and consistency to the New York Knicks organization. It will be ok if the Knicks perform poorly during Thibodeau’s first few seasons with the team, as long as their young players show growth and develop into starters on a playoff-caliber team. Even if the Knicks begin next season 5-20, it still wouldn’t be a good enough reason to fire Thibodeau.

The players on the Knicks roster need consistency. Since 2016, the Knicks have had four different head coaches, Thibodeau the fifth. The young guns for New York have not had the time to settle into a coaching system and instead are constantly tasked with learning new systems and coaching styles. The Knicks need to give their young players a couple of seasons to gel and develop under Thibodeau.

Knicks fans are the most tired fans in the NBA. With every hope for a better future squashed by the disfunction of the Knicks organization, Thibodeau has his toughest gig yet (and he coached in Minnesota). The worst-case scenario for Tom Thibodeau is getting fired without finishing his contract and getting paid to NOT coach the Knicks. It honestly doesn’t sound too bad.

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For more thoughts and opinions from Zachary Diamond, check out his author-page or Twitter.

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