Tom Thibodeau, former coach of the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves, has been named new coach of the New York Knicks, the NBA franchise announced Thursday, which has been dying for several seasons.
He succeeds Mike Miller who replaced David Fizdale, dismissed by the Knicks after eight straight losses at the start of the season.
“Tom Thibodeau is a recognized winner who makes the most of the players and teams he has coached,” said Knicks president Leon Rose. “He will bring leadership, accountability and a hard work mindset to our team.”
Sacked in January 2019 from Minnesota, Thibodeau, named coach of the year in 2011 after a 62-game winning season with the Bulls and a place in the Eastern Conference final, had been the favorite for several months to take the reins of the Knicks.
Renowned for knowing how to build very solid teams defensively, he will have to take up the challenge of relaunching the Knicks unable to grab the play-offs for six seasons and whose last NBA title dates back to 1973.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to come back to this historic franchise as a head coach and work alongside a management that I have great confidence and respect,” said Thibodeau.
“I know what New York is like when the Knicks are successful and there’s nothing quite like it. I can’t wait to be part of what we are building here and I can’t wait to get down to work, ”he added.
The Knicks, among the lowest ranked of the season (21 wins, 45 losses) are not affected by the resumption of the NBA this Thursday, more than four months after its interruption because of the coronavirus.
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