Tom Thibodeau Praised The ‘Young And Talented’ Knicks Roster At His Introductory Press Conference

In his first press conference as the new head coach of the Knicks, Tom Thibodeau predictably had a lot of good things to say about the franchise hiring him for his third opportunity as head coach in the NBA. Still, it was surprising to see Thibodeau proclaim that the Big Apple is “synonymous with winning and championships.” The Knicks have not won an NBA title since 1973, when current color analyst Clyde Frazier was on the court leading the team, and of the major sports teams that have “New York” in their names, the last one to win a title was the New York Giants in 2012.

New York did not hire Thibodeau to win a championship in the near-term. They are a rebuilding team who will likely hope Thibodeau can do exactly what he’s done during stops in Chicago and Minnesota: Get his players to compete hard and develop on-court chemistry. Thibodeau was the front-runner in the search all along, according to reports, and though names like Jason Kidd and Spurs assistant Will Hardy came up during the interview process, Thibodeau was indeed the man to land one of the highest-profile jobs in the NBA.

New lead executive Leon Rose doesn’t want any assumptions to be made about the legitimacy of the search, however, especially because Thibodeau is represented by CAA, the agency where Rose used to run the arm that managed NBA coaches.

From Thibodeau’s perspective, it was also his relationships with Rose and fellow former CAA coach rep William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley that stood out, in addition to the young roster and ample cap space. Young players like Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle and R.J. Barrett do seem to fit the hard-nosed style Thibodeau prefers.

The last bit of news from Thibodeau’s introductory press conference was reported just before Thibodeau logged onto his Zoom call with the media, but has not been confirmed by the team.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Thibodeau’s hiring will coincide with the return of Mike Woodson, who coached the Knicks from 2011-14 and interviewed for the top gig this summer. Woodson has not coached in the NBA since 2018.

The Thibodeau era in New York is already off to an interesting start.