B.J. Armstrong, former Bulls guard and present agent for Derrick Rose, has been in awe of how nicely Tom Thibodeau bought alongside along with his shopper.
Rose turned the league’s youngest MVP at age 22 underneath Thibodeau’s watch in 2011. Then Rose adopted the coach from Chicago to Minnesota. Armstrong calls it “a phenomenal relationship.’’
The elements that constructed their robust connection is why Armstrong believes he must return to the sidelines to educate the Knicks, who view him as their prime candidate.
“I at all times admired how [Thibodeau] coached,’’ Armstrong informed The Put up. “He brings the hearth and the warmth. And most significantly, he’s at all times ready for the sport. He loves the sport. He had a wonderful profession on this league. He made a life dedication to the sport. I’ll be actually blissful for him [if he gets the job].’’
Thibodeau and the previous Knicks level guard had been reduce from the identical fabric, Armstrong stated.
“Once in a while, you discover somebody who matches your persona,’’ stated Armstrong, who hosts the “Pushinthru” podcast on which Thibodeau was a latest visitor. “Tom and Derrick simply hit it off. They’re peas in a pod. They’re basketball junkies. They love the sport. They each like to compete. That they had a novel understanding amongst themselves.
“I’ve seen these two sit there and discuss basketball hours on finish. Coach Thibodeau loves basketball. There’s little doubt about it. Whenever you meet Derrick, he loves the sport. Whenever you put these two collectively, you simply have this chemistry and mutual respect for his or her ardour for basketball.
“Derrick would play basketball all day if he may,’’ Armstrong added. “Coach Thibodeau will watch movie and coach the sport all day if he may. It’s crucial factor of their lives.’’
Some Thibodeau observers have puzzled if he’s really too obsessive about basketball and if the previous Knicks assistant coach may use different retailers. Thibodeau by no means married and has no youngsters.
However possibly that is precisely what the woebegone Knicks, a clown present for seven non-playoff years, wants.
“Coach Thibs is without doubt one of the extra distinctive vibrant minds on this league,’’ Armstrong stated. “Little doubt about it. He has the respect of lots of people on this league who he has touched. He’s at all times been an individual whose served his gamers and fought for his gamers, and I do know he respects his gamers immensely.’’
Although Thibodeau has been out of labor since January 2019 after being fired by the Timberwolves, Armstrong is aware of he’s not been removed from basketball. Certainly, Thibodeau visited a number of coaches and their workforce practices this previous season. The 62-year-old from New Britain, Conn., additionally attended the Sloane Convention at MIT to soak up himself in analytics.
“Irrespective of, he’ll discover methods to be across the sport,’’ Armstrong stated. “He watched a few video games each night time and went to go to a number of coaches and groups, and was in shut contact with all of the coaches. He’s a lifer. Some play or coach as a job. A few of us, it’s what they do no matter [employment]. He most likely spent extra time speaking the sport than when he was teaching. He’s going to speak basketball. Life hasn’t modified a lot for him.’’
Thibodeau’s head-coaching document stands at 352-246, however nonetheless confronted criticism after his Minnesota stint ended 18 months in the past regardless of breaking the franchise’s 13-year playoff drought.
Thibodeau had been charged with being out of contact with millennial gamers whereas not adhering to new load-management ideas. Theories abound that his overplaying Rose triggered his ACL accidents. Rose doesn’t assume that method, in line with his agent.
“It by no means occurred to us,’’ Armstrong stated. “Their observe document collectively speaks for itself. Everyone seems to be entitled to their opinion. I get it. That’s the enterprise we’re in. We stay in a public life. However they’ll be lifelong pals.’’
When Rose was waived by Utah in 2018, Thibodeau signed him when a roster spot opened.
“As quickly as the chance arose, he was first in line,’’ Armstrong stated.
Rose weaved a productive bounce-back season for Detroit, however has one 12 months left on his pact. If Thibodeau returns to New York, you possibly can by no means rely out Rose returning, too.
“I’ve by no means questioned [Thibodeau’s] understanding of the sport or data of the sport and he’ll at all times be one of many prime coaches within the league so long as the expertise is there,’’ Armstrong stated.