NBA Rumors: Eastern Conference team's coach might get fired despite doing 'best possible job'

Portland Trail Blazers v New York Knicks
Tom Thibodeau has been head coach of the New York Knicks for the last two seasons

New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau knows the NBA can be a roller coaster. In his first year with the team, the Knicks finished with a 41-31 record. This performance gave them the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference. A year later, the Knicks didn't even make it to the play-in tournament, finishing with a 37-45 record. This record landed them the 11th seed in the East.

According to an article on, Thibodeau could lose his job. An Eastern Conference general manager said the team's downward direction could lead to his dismissal.

“There was a lot of question as to whether he would make it through last year after the way they fell apart and how undisciplined that team seemed at times," the executive said.
"He was very slow to change the rotation, things like that, and it rubbed people the wrong way. But Thibs is always consistent in his approach. It’ll be the same this year."

The GM then said that the expectations in New York are likely higher than what Thibodeau can produce.

“His problem is, look at the East, and they’re 10th best," The GM said. "That is the best-case scenario if everyone is healthy around the East. They’re 10th. So, he could do the best possible job he can, finish 10th and still get fired. I’d say he will get fired if they finish 10th. It’s a tough spot.”
NBA GM says Tom Thibodeau is in ‘tough spot’ with Knicks: ‘He could do the best possible job he can, finish 10th and still get fired’…

Tom Thibodeau is a two-time NBA Coach of the Year winner

The man in charge of the Knicks is not new to coaching. Tom Thibodeau is a two-time NBA Coach of the Year winner. In his first year with the Chicago Bulls, Thibodeau helped them finish the 2010-11 season with a 62-20 record. Thibodeau won his first Coach of the Year award in recognition of that achievement.

His second NBA Coach of the Year award came exactly 10 years later. He won the award for his dramatic turnaround of the Knicks in 2020-21.

Thibodeau struggled between Chicago and New York. As coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves between 2016 and January 2019, Thibodeau finished with an overall losing record, 97-107. However, it was under Thibodeau's watch that the Timberwolves made their first playoff appearance in 14 seasons in 2018.


The question remains whether Thibodeau can help the Knicks return to the postseason. He'll have his work cut out in an increasingly talented Eastern Conference.

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Edited by Chad Marriott
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