After months of speculation and being linked to a number of candidates, the New York Knicks are on the verge of signing veteran head coach Tom Thibodeau to a five-year contract as per ESPN.
Following another offseason of disappointment and further misery in the 2019-20 NBA campaign, the New York Knicks fired head coach Dave Fizdale in December last year. Subsequently, assistant coach Mike Miller was promoted to the position of the lead guy in the interim.
Miller himself hasn't really inspired the New York Knicks who've only managed a sorry 21-45 record and are languishing at the 12th place in NBA's Eastern Conference. This is the seventh consecutive season that the franchise from the Big Apple has failed to make it to the NBA Playoffs.
Tom Thibodeau's record as an NBA head coach
In only his first season as a head coach in the NBA, Tom Thibodeau led the Chicago Bulls to a 62-20 record in the East which won him Coach of the Year Award. Next year, he became the fastest head coach to record 100 wins in the NBA, taking only 130 games to achieve this feat.
Thibodeau had success with the Minnesota Timberwolves as well after joining the franchise as the head coach in the 2016-17 season. He ended the T-Wolves' 14-year playoffs drought by leading them into the postseason in 2018. Tensions within the team in the 2018-19 campaign – particularly due to a wantaway Jimmy Butler – saw the performances dip and Thibodeau was eventually let go.
The New York Knicks were linked with Jason Kidd as well but Tom Thibodeau has enough pedigree to lead them into the light again.
NBA fans react to Tom Thibodeau joining the New York Knicks
While Thibodeau has a proven track record, he is notoriously known for keeping smaller rotations and eventually tiring out his players during the course of the season. It was his decision to leave Derrick Rose in the Bulls' first-round game against the NBA in the 2012 Playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Bulls were leading by 12 points with only a little over a minute left on the game clock.
Zach LaVine and Jimmy Butler have also suffered a torn ACL and a torn meniscus respectively under Thibodeau's tutelage. So fans were quick to warm the New York Knicks players on Twitter with a lot of knee jokes doing the rounds. Let's have a look: