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Knicks front office: What to know about the Knicks head coach and staff

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau

As we head into the 2022-23 season, we wanted to draw light on the New York Knicks head coach and coaching staff. For the Knicks to become one of the elite eastern conference teams, the head coach must take a young core, with the help of his player development staff, and guide them to reach their potential. A result leading to a more competitive Knicks team.

We are going to highlight some of the key coaching personnel and how they can help take the Knicks to the next level.

Who is the Knicks head coach?

The current head coach of the New York Knicks is Tom Thibodeau. He is the former associate head coach of the Boston Celtics, and head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves franchises.

Thibodeau is a defensive minded coach. He was a big reason for the 2007-08 Boston Celtics becoming one of the best defensive teams in the league. It was this experience that gave him the opportunity to be the head coach for the Chicago Bulls. It was here that he became a Coach of the Year and one of the premier coaches in the NBA.

Prior to joining the Knicks, he was the president of Basketball Operations in Minnesota. He helped lift them out of a 14 year playoff drought. Although his time in Minnesota was short-lived.

Now the Knicks head coach, he lifted the team to their first playoff appearance since 2012-13. Shortly after becoming a second time Coach of the Year.

Knicks head coaches before Tom Thibodeau

Prior to Tom Thibodeau, the Knicks head coach position was a revolving door. The Knicks had five coaches in as many years.

These are the last five coaches to precede Tom Thibodeau.

  1. Mike Miller – 2019-20
  2. David Fizdale – 2018-19
  3. Jeff Hornacek – 2016-18
  4. Kurt Rambis – 2016
  5. Derek Fisher – 2014-2016

It was a coaching group that continued that failed to produce anything more than drama. We all remember the Derek Fisher and Matt Barnes beef!

Tom Thibodeau has brought consistency, a hard working culture and discipline. All features of a championship team that were non-existent in New York. In addition to the culture changes, he has brought a winning mindset. Prior to Thibodeau, it was a Knicks team that was far too comfortable with losing.

Thibodeau job status in 2022-23 season

Per ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski, Thibodeau is expected to the be the Knicks head coach next season and will not be in the hot seat. After a standout season in 2020-21, a year where Thibodeau was announced the Coach of the Year, the team faltered. From the 4th seed they failed to reach the playoffs the year after.

Most Knicks fans understand that the 2020-21 season was an outlier. The team over performed. The Knicks are in a half rebuilding phase with a young core that needs minutes and experience to reach the next level.

Tom Thibodeau is known for playing his veterans heavy minutes in place of young prospects. It is a philosophy that has helped him win games, arguably the most important aspect of his role.

It is a challenge for the front office knowing that Thibodeau will play his veterans regardless of what’s best for the team. Should he decide to continue to take this path and play the vets, his position as Knicks head coach may come into question.

Key Knicks assistant coaches

One of the more publicised recent assistant coach hiring’s was Rick Brunson, Jalen Brunson’s father. Rick Brunson has strong ties to the Knicks organization and Tom Thibodeau. He was a former Knick from 1998-2001 and spent time as an assistant with Thibodeau in Chicago.

Rick Brunson has been linked to the recent signing of his son Jalen. A link that has led the league to investigate the Knicks for tampering. Rick Brunson, whilst a big part of the signing of Jalen will also play an integral role in the player development of this young Knicks squad.

Notable knicks assistant coaches

Other assistant coaches with the Knicks include:

  • Associate Head Coach – Johnnie Bryant
  • Assistant Coaches – Darren Erman, Andy Greer, Larry Greer
  • Strength & Conditioning Coach – Richard Williams
  • Two-Way Liaison – Aaron Brooks

Johnnie Bryant has seen his name appear many times in recent head coaching vacancies. His standing in the league is strong in only a short 8 year coaching career. Previously at the Utah Jazz, Bryant has been credited with elevating the level of play in both Gordon Hayward and Donovan Mitchell.

This strong core of assistant coaches with solid player development is a large reason the Knicks continue to see strong play from their young group. Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, Quentin Grimes and RJ Barrett have all benefited from the balanced coaching group of the New York Knicks.

Related: Your comprehensive guide to understanding the NBA draft and lottery

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