Thibodeau talks of Knicks being dream job, with reshaping roster up next

Sam Amico

Tom Thibodeau said he's thrilled to have been named head coach of the New York Knicks but knows the real work now begins.

Thibodeau was referring to the roster, as the Knicks finished 21-45 this past season and were one of eight teams not invited to resume the season in Orlando.

The Knicks have a bevy of younger players, but it's hard to know which ones will return. Thibodeau has yet to work with the players and said he wants to hold off on making firm assessments before doing so.

“Based on film, I really think RJ Barrett has a very bright future, as does Mitchell Robinson,” Thibodeau said during his introductory press conference. “Those are the two who stand out.”

Thibodeau was the pick of new Knicks president Leon Rose, who list of interviewees ran nearly a dozen deep.

“This is a dream come true for me. This is my dream job,” Thibodeau said. “I’ve been there before, I have a great understanding of New York. I think we have the best city in the world, we have the best arena in the world and we have the best fans in the world.”

Thibodeau has a reputation as a hands-on, controlling coach but also a coach who is generally liked and respected by his players.

It's been a long time since the Knicks were relevant, though, and along with an accomplished coach, they seem to understand NBA success is generally determined by the players.

“The first thing is you lay the foundation, develop a plan and then work the plan," Thibodea said, adding that each step is important. "You don’t make major jumps without going through each step. So I think the first step is to establish the work ethic and how we want to play.”