Morning Knicks 7/30: A Tribute to Jeff Van Gundy, More Praise for Tom Thibodeau, and More
-Jeff Van Gundy has had high praise for Tom Thibodeau. Ironically, Thibodeau will have to make quite a mark in New York to fill Van Gundy's shoes. The Knicks were as successful as they've been in a long time under Van Gundy, and the head coaches since have been disastrous. Thibodeau was Van Gundy's assistant back then, so perhaps he is finally the one to bring the Knicks wins. Our own Jonathan Macri wrote about the immortality of Van Gundy in Knicks lore, and why it will be so hard for any coach to every replace him.
-One of the concerns some have had with hiring Tom Thibodeau is that he had talent during his days in Chicago and Minnesota and has never overseen a full-scale rebuild like what he faces with the Knicks. Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News thinks the contrary, and that Thibodeau is the coach to get New York back on track. You can read Bondy's case for Thibodeau to be the right coach for the rebuild, which echoes sentiments from former Knicks' coach Jeff Van Gundy.
Bondy also wrote about how crucial Thibodeau's relationship with Leon Rose is to making things work in New York. If there's friction between the head coach and front office, things tend to go sour. Luckily, Rose is Thibodeau's former agent, so the two already have a relationship to start their Knicks' partnership on the right foot.
-While Thibodeau's hard-nosed nature can rub some the wrong way, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim believes Thibodeau's obsession with basketball makes him the right choice to be the Knicks' head coach. SNY's Ian Begley spoke with Boeheim about his time coaching alongside Thibodeau as a member of Team USA. Boeheim said that Thibodeau was "always in there watching tape long after the rest of us had gone to bed." Quotes like this can give Knicks fans confidence in their new head coach.
Begley also introduced his new show called "The Putback," with his debut guest being ESPN's Zach Lowe. Begley spoke with the well-respected national writer about whether Thibodeau was the right hire for New York.
-Moe Harkless seems to be supportive of the hiring of Thibodeau, even if he doesn't wind up playing under him. Marc Berman of The New York Post spoke with Harkless about Thibodeau, and the wing said the Knicks "got a good coach." The upcoming free agent and New York native could be re-signed by the Knicks, and if he is, Thibodeau will surely relish having another sold defender on the roster.