The New York Knicks are Knicking once again.
The team that calls the most famous arena in the world home, have finally decided on a head coach. If you’re guessing it was Kenny Atkinson who most recently helmed the Nets or Brooklyn native Mark Jackson who helped put together the Golden State Warriors, you’d be sadly mistaken. Instead, it’s Tom Thibodeau, the 62-year-old Connecticut native whose NBA coaching history dates back to the early 90s and most recently coached the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2016-2019.
Thibs has worked with the Knicks before, serving as an assistant under Jeff Van Gundy from 1996 to 2004, but for fans, that familiarity with the team isn’t enough to have them excited for the 5-year deal he just signed.
Technically, Thibodeau is 11th in career winning percentage for coaches with 500 or more games, and according to ESPN, he has a 352-246 (.589) record in eight seasons with Chicago and Minnesota. However, Twitter didn’t seem to care as Knicks fans joked about the franchise’s odd coaching choices over the years, and other team’s fans harped on their misery.
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has worked with Thibs as part of Team USA’s coaching staff since 2014 and sang his praises when asked via Zoom about the new gig.
“Tommy’s a seasoned veteran who it goes without saying understands what wins what loses,” Popovich told The Post on Saturday. “He knows how to put a program together, create a culture, be demanding. At the same time, make people accountable. It’s easy to demand things, but making people accountable and wanting to play the right way is not something that’s easy for everybody to do. But Tom knows it inside and out.”
As we wait and see what becomes of the Knicks –who’ve missed the playoffs for the past seven seasons and haven’t sniffed a championship since the 1970s– check out some of the funniest reactions below.