Will the New York Knicks sign on Tom Thibodeau as their next head coach?
“To be honest, Coach Thibbs is one of the dopest coaches I’ve ever played for,” Nate Robinson told me via my #WORDSWITHSCOOOP Instagram Live Presented by Orox Leather.
“One, he showed me professionalism, really how to be a student of the game; studying the playbook, studying players…it’s like knowing your enemy better than it knows itself and being prepared. He’s always prepared. He always has a plan A,B,C,D,E,F and G so, that’s one thing that they’re going to get out of Coach Thibbs. Also he expects every player to practice, every player bring their A game and he preaches with defense first; if you play defense you will get offense. So if you want play offense, you got to play defense. I loved that about him and he’s just a hardnosed coach.”
A three-time NBA Slam-Dunk Champion, Robinson played for Thibodeau as a member of the Chicago Bulls during the 2012-13 NBA season and he played all 82-games.
Robinson averaged 13.1 points per game coming off of the bench and was a catalyst for that Bulls team who were without Derrick Rose.
“Honestly man, it was a blessing from God,” recalled Robinson.
“I was really blessed to have the opportunity. For one, people don’t understand that during that time, I had a non-guaranteed contract so they could’ve cut me at any time so I was already walking on eggshells. I was literally the third point guard off the bench; Kirk Hinrich started. You had Marquis Teague coming off the bench and then I was next. But I literally had to wait my turn and wait for the right opportunity to showcase what I could do.”
At 5’9, 180 pounds, Robinson disrupted the flow of traffic during the Bulls’ first-round NBA Playoffs series against the Deron Williams-Joe Johnson led Brooklyn Nets during the 2013 NBA Playoffs.
For those keeping score at home: In Game 4 of the Bulls’ 142-134 triple-overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets, Robinson scored 34 points in 29 minutes. What gets lost in translation is that twenty-three of those points came in the fourth quarter. Robinson also brought the Bulls back from a 14-point deficit with less than three minutes to play and hit a crazy 23-foot runner that nearly won the game in the first overtime.
Tom Thibodeau has compiled a record of 352 wins and 246 losses in his coaching career with the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves. Robinson thinks the world of his former coach. “His voice is a little raspy and you can’t understand him too much when he’s screaming because his voice is too raspy,” joked Robinson.
“But he’s a good dude man, and he was really hard on us especially hard on me, but he hard on a lot of players especially the ones that he really believed in. It took me a while to understand that and he gave me opportunities so, I have nothing bad to say about the man. He’s been awesome.”