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3 reasons why the New York Knicks should not fire Tom Thibodeau

new york knicks, tom thibodeau
Feb 7, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau looks on in the second quarter against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau is the captain of a ship that has blown way off course in year two. The team’s lack of intensity during the fourth quarter in February has led to some awful blown leads and rumblings of Thibodeau’s job security being on shaky ground.

However, for a franchise that has made a carousel out of the coaching position the Knicks (25-34) and their fans need to pump the brakes on thoughts of firing their coach. Here are three reasons why.

New York Knicks must break the hire-and-fire cycle

Over the last 20 years, the Knicks have had 14 different head coaches. That is a ridiculous number. Especially when you realize that even Hall-of-Fame caliber coaches like Lenny Wilkens, Larry Brown, and Mike D’Antoni were unable to hold on to the gig.

In sports today, coaches get the hook for disappointing results faster than ever. And the Knicks have become all-stars at handing out pink slips. However, at some point, they have to break the cycle of constant change and develop a long-term culture. And head coaches are pivotal in that.

The last three coaches in New York barely had more than two years to prove their worth. The team can’t do that again with a person that just won the “Coach of the Year” award in 2021.

Tom Thibodeau can develop talent, and the Knicks need that bad

new york knicks, tom thibodeau
Feb 2, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) warms up before a game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York has been horrid when it comes to developing franchise players. They have been woeful in their draft selections, and they have proven more than any other team that they are incapable of developing long-term success through free agency or trades.

The franchise needs to develop its own star. Thibodeau has done that in the past, and in New York as well. We all know about him turning Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler, and Derrick Rose into all-stars in the league when he was in Chicago. However, he hasn’t gotten enough credit for what he has down with the team’s 2019 first-round pick RJ Barrett.

  • RJ Barrett (2021-2022) Stats: 18.0 ppg, 5.7 rebs, 2.6 assts

Barrett has consistently improved on both sides of the court under Thibodeau’s watch. And after a sluggish start to the season, he has blossomed into a 20-points per game player in January and February. Other draft picks like Ob Toppin, Emmanuel Quickley, and this year’s first-round pick Quentin Grimes have all shown strong signs of progress in their time with the team.

The Knicks needs to let Thibodeau do what he has done well in the past and continue to develop a young and talented core not built around free agents.

Tom Thibodeau has had a pretty good career if you didn’t notice

Surely you can knock Thibodeau for the heavy minutes in which he plays his stars or his weaknesses in connecting with next-generation talent, but the New York native’s resume speaks for itself.

Over nine seasons as a head coach with the Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Knicks he has amassed a 255-139 record. It is a track record a lot of struggling franchises would kill to have walk into their locker room tomorrow.

After failing with unproven headmen like Jeff Hornacek, Derek Fisher, and David Fizdale in recent years, the franchise needs to just trust in the process, believe in their talented coach, and give him players that better fit the style he can win games with.

Especially, when he has already had a full year of success in the toughest market in all sports. After the team made the playoffs for the first time in eights seasons last year and were the fourth seed to boot.