Tag Archives: knicks next coach

Report: Tom Thibodeau Would Only Leave Bulls For “Dream Job” With Knicks

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Tom Thibodeau, considered one of the game’s top coaches, would consider leaving the Chicago Bulls, but only to return to the Knicks, sources told Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher (formerly of ESPN). Thibodeau, who won the NBA’s Coach of the Year award in 2011, worked for the Knicks as an assistant coach back in 1999, when they made it to the NBA Finals. According to Bucher,

“There’s only one place that Thibodeau would really push to go elsewhere, and that’s to go back to the New York Knicks,” Bucher said. “That, I’m told by one source, is actually his dream job, to go back and get the Knicks back on the map. But short of that, he realizes that no matter where he goes, the grass isn’t always greener.”

Thibodeau is under contract with the Bulls, but there has reportedly been friction between the coach and the front office during his time in Chicago. Thibodeau was upset when the team fired his best assistant coach last season, and when they traded All-Star Luol Deng for cap space and salary relief this winter.

While the Knicks were a bit stingy (at least compared to the Warriors) in their failed pursuit of Steve Kerr, teams are not limited by the salary cap for coaching hires and James Dolan and Phil Jackson could probably make Tom Thibodeau an offer he couldn’t refuse.

However, Thibodeau is still a long shot to coach the Knicks for a couple reasons. First of all, the Knicks would almost certainly have to provide Chicago with compensation to get them to let the highly sought-after coach out of his contract, and the Knicks don’t have much to give in the way of trade assets. Second of all, Phil Jackson seems to be focused on hiring a coach with little or no experience, with whom he has a previous relationship, in an effort to indirectly coach the team from afar and find a pupil to try to convert into the “Next Phil Jackson”. Thibodeau has no relationship with Phil and is already a very established coach who is probably set in his own ways. 

The reports of Thibodeau considering the Knicks to be his “dream job” can only be seen as good news, but for the time being, don’t count on him bringing his clipboard to the Big Apple.

-Tommy Rothman

 

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Steve Kerr Wants $30 Million To Coach The Knicks

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Steve Kerr, the man expected to be the next coach of the New York Knicks, is ready to take the reigns, but won’t do it for cheap.

Kerr is reportedly seeking a 5-year, $30 million deal from his old coach, Phil Jackson (who, in March, received a 5-year, $60 million deal to assume the role of Knicks President). This may come as a surprise to many, given that Kerr has zero coaching experience. In 2008, when the Knicks hired Mike D’Antoni (then considered one of the game’s top coaches). they “only” gave him 4 years and $24 million. 

Kerr, who won 5 NBA championships during a playing career in which he established himself as one of the greatest shooters of all time, has more recently worked as the General Manager of the Phoenix Suns and, since 2010, has been one of TNT’s top broadcasters. Because of his relationship with Jackson, very few people were surprised when he emerged as a candidate to succeed Mike Woodson. But in recent weeks, other potential suitors have emerged for Kerr, most notably the Golden State Warriors.

However, it appears that Kerr wants to coach the Knicks, despite his reported reluctance to move off of the West Coast. When Kerr completes his broadcasting duties in late-May, it is expected that a deal will be finalized. But if Phil wants to get his man Kerr, he’ll have to pay up. Or rather, owner James Dolan will have to pay up. Coaching salaries do not affect the salary cap in any way, so despite the seeming exorbitance of Kerr’s demands, this might be a question of whether Dolan is willing to open up his wallet to make things happen. 

Dolan is usually not one to pinch pennies (or $100 bills), so I expect a deal to get done. However, it will be interesting to see whether the Knicks can drive Kerr’s price down before hiring him.

-Tommy Rothman