After a coaching search that lasted several months, team president Leon Rose has finally, and officially, chosen and announced a head coach for the New York Knicks. The team announced this morning that Tom Thibodeau has been named the 31st head coach of the franchise - reportedly on a five-year deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
On Thibodeau, Rose said: “Tom Thibodeau is a proven winner who gets the most out of the players and teams that he has coached,” as well as added that, “He will bring leadership, accountability and a hard-working mentality to our organization," and that [the front office is], "excited to bring [Thibodeau] back to New York and look forward to collaborating with him and his staff toward a successful future.”
The other coaches that that staff may include were not discussed in the release, but what was included were some quotes from Thibodeau himself. Thibodeau put into words what many knew helped lead to his hiring in the first place, which is his trust for Leon Rose — developed from when Rose, through CAA, had Thibodeau as a client. Coach "Thibs", on his new job:
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to this historic franchise as head coach and work alongside a talented front office that I have great trust in and respect for. I know what New York is like when the Knicks are successful and there is nothing comparable. I look forward to being a part of what we are building here and can’t wait to get to work.”
The last part of his quote should come as no surprise to Knicks fans — Thibodeau not being able to wait to get to work is a key aspect of his essentially infamous personality as a coach. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News put together a great piece on Thibodeau, and his "Belicheck-like" qualities, here. This might help Knicks fans hoping to learn a bit more about their franchise's new leader understand how exactly Thibodeau has come to be able to boast the 11th best winning percentage among coaches who have coached 500 or more games.
After guiding the Bulls to a 255-139 record from 2010 to 2015, and ending the Minnesota Timberwolves' 13-year playoff drought as both their president and head coach (a tandem of duties he will not have to shoulder in New York), Thibodeau's next challenge comes with turning around the Knicks — and delivering the winning team New Yorkers and fans across the world have been waiting to see for years.