East GM Provides Insight on Tom Thibodeau’s Job Security With Knicks

Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks

Getty Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks argues a call during the first quarter of Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The New York Knicks had quite a successful campaign considering their lowly 2021-22 performance and their preseason expectations, as they wound up finishing in the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference standings and went all the way to the second round of the postseason before losing in six games to the Miami Heat.

However, despite this, throughout the season questions regarding head coach Tom Thibodeau‘s job security have been brought up on a rather consistent basis. In a sit-down with Heavy on Sports’ NBA insider Sean Deveney, an Eastern Conference GM shed some light on what exactly the future seems to have in store for the seasoned headman.

“Thibs has been up and down in the eyes of some but for Leon Rose and the people in that front office that matter, he’s been safe all along. They played well down the stretch and in the playoffs and no matter what happens, it is a safe bet he will be back next year. He has his system in place and if they get another star player to drop into that system, they’ll be a tough team,” the executive told Deveney.

Since his arrival with the Knicks back in 2020, Tom Thibodeau has accumulated a record of 125-111 and helped guide the franchise to two postseason appearances, all while winning the NBA Coach of the Year award back in 2021 and finishing eighth in the running for the award this season.

While there are those who have suggested that New York should consider parting ways with the veteran head coach, according to this particular rival GM, it appears his status in the Big Apple remains secure for the time being.

Colin Cowherd Questions Tom Thibodeau’s Knicks Future

Regardless of the Eastern Conference executive’s thoughts on the matter, there are still going to be those who consider Tom Thibodeau’s job standing in New York to be a bit fragile.

Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd even went as far as to make a comparison between Thibs and former Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers, who was relieved of his duties with the organization Tuesday afternoon.

In Cowherd’s eyes, both head coaches are best at establishing a team’s “culture” rather than serving as long-term leaders.

“Not a real surprise Doc Rivers got fired. He’s known as a culture coach, not necessarily an in-game adjustment coach. Tom Thibodeau of the Knicks has created a relentless, energized, hardworking, defensive-leaning culture [but] is he the coach for the next step? Many people in New York question it,” Colin Cowherd said.

While Cowherd does have an interesting take, perhaps a rather glaring difference between Doc Rivers’ situation in Philadelphia and Tom Thibodeau’s situation with New York is that the Sixers, what with their star cornerstones in James Harden and 2023 league MVP Joel Embiid leading the charge, are considered a win-now team yet advanced as far as the retooling Knicks during this year’s postseason.

A second-round exit for Thibodeau and company is certainly a solid accomplishment while, for Rivers and Philly, it’s more of a letdown.

Jalen Brunson Excited for Knicks Future

Perhaps the most prominent catalyst for the Knicks during their impressive 2022-23 campaign proved to be free agency acquisition, Jalen Brunson, as he proved himself to be the long-awaited answer to the club’s grueling backcourt woes that have plagued them for years on end.

While being booted by the lower-seeded Miami Heat in round two was certainly not what he or any of his Knicks teammates had in mind this postseason, during his post-Game 6 media session the 26-year-old spoke glowingly about his first-year impressions of the franchise and expressed excitement for what the future has in store.

“New York has been amazing and the fans have been amazing. It’s been a really great experience for myself and my family. I’m already excited about next year. It’s going to be fun. We have a lot to prove to each other as teammates,” Jalen Brunson said. “This was a great year for us… Obviously, we didn’t end the season the way we wanted to but [we have to] keep working on our game, keep gaining confidence, as [players] and as teammates and as we move forward we just gotta keep sticking together like we did this year.”

Through 68 games played during his inaugural season with the Knicks, Jalen Brunson went on to post impressive averages of 24.0 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 49.1% from the field and 41.5% from deep.

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