Tom Thibodeau is on the New York Knicks’ head coaching shortlist and one of his former players, Taj Gibson, loves the idea.
Per Ian Begley of SNY, when asked about Thibodeau, Gibson said, “He can do it. If you want to win, he can do it. If the main goal is about winning and developing guys and pushing guys to the limit, (he can do it)… you look at a lot of the guys he’s had over the years; a lot of them was hard-nosed and a lot of them give him his due credit… he’s one of those coaches — he doesn’t leave the gym. He loves coaching, he loves developing guys. But at the same time, you’ve got to want to get better.”
Thibodeau coached Gibson in Chicago and Minnesota, so he speaks about his former coach from personal experience. The veteran basketball coach has a reputation of being maybe too tough on his players but Gibson came to his defense.
“I can’t speak on anybody else. From my experience with him, I did a lot of winning,” Gibson said. “The aspect of getting you better and wanting you to be better and expecting the utmost from you every day. Not just walking into the gym and being a pro but to leave the gym, knowing that you gave it your all. And you put forth 110 percent. Because he’s going to want 110 percent out of you and he’s going to challenge you because he wants the best out of you. And I honestly see that every time…He’s kind of misunderstood because people don’t know him. And from the outside world, he doesn’t really talk as much. He’s starting to learn to talk (more) to people in the outside world. In the locker room, he’s a real dude. He’s a respectable dude. And he’s hard-nosed. But he wants the best for you.”
Clearly, Gibson had a wonderful relationship with Thibodeau and thinks he is a great coach. He addressed everything about Thibodeau’s character, coaching methods and reputation in an endearing manner.
He believes that even though Thibodeau can come off as rough around the edges, he is good at what he does and only wants what’s best for his players.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reported that, according to NBA insiders, Thibodeau and former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy are on newly-hired president Leon Rose’s head-coaching shortlist. Thibodeau was an assistant coach for the Knicks from 1996 until 2004 and, most recently, was the head coach of the Timberwolves from 2016 until 2019.