The New York Knicks sets to bring Tom Thibodeau back for a third season after a poor 37-45 record and failure to qualify for the play-in round.
After guiding New York finish fourth in the Eastern Conference in 2020-21. He is the NBA Coach of the Year for the second time in his coaching career.
Many supporters wanted Thibodeau to dismiss following the season. But president Leon Rose has openly stated his support for the coach. Thibodeau will most certainly fires over the summer, if not sooner if he isn’t able to turn things around next season.
Whatever Knicks supporters think of Thibodeau, the goal is that New York will be back in the playoffs by this time next year. If that doesn’t happen and Thibodeau is forcing resign, the Knicks may come with few plausible head coach possibilities.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, head coach James Borrego sacks after four seasons with the Hornets. Charlotte will begin interviewing four candidates on Tuesday, including Mike D’Antoni and Kenny Atkinson.
Will the New York Knicks be sorry they didn’t let Tom Thibodeau go?
From 2008 through 2012, D’Antoni was the head coach of the New York Jets. Before quitting in March of 2012, he had a 121-167 record. D’Antoni has emerged as a “serious” contender for the Hornets’ head coaching job, according to Wojnarowski.
Because of LaMelo Ball, it’s unlikely that Charlotte would choose anybody other than D’Antoni. If that occurs, he won’t be a possibility for the Knicks if Thibodeau fires in 2022-23 until he has a horrible year in North Carolina unless D’Antoni has a burning desire to return to New York.
D’Antoni, the head coach of the Houston Rockets was from 2017 until 2020. And he’s shown to be capable of turning around a squad.
There’s contender Kenny Atkinson, a Golden State Warriors assistant coach, on the other side. In 2018-19, he unexpectedly guided the Brooklyn Nets to a playoff spot but was dismissed in March of 2020. Steve Nash to replace Atkinson, a favorite of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Atkinson, like D’Antoni, has played for the Knicks. From 2008 until 2012, he worked as an assistant coach. If Thibodeau is let go and does not acquire a head coaching position this summer, New York may attempt to bring him back to Madison Square Garden next season if he is still available.
New York will hopefully not have to worry about a head coaching position next season, but Thibodeau will need to modify his thinking. He gets along well with the Knicks’ younger players.
If 2022-23 follows the same pattern as 2021-22, New York will be on the hunt once again. Hopefully, all of the excellent choices will be accessible.