Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau smiles

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau smiles


Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks coaches against the Philadelphia 76ers during the fourth quarter of game six of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs.

New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau is not going anywhere.

The polarizing coach and the Knicks will discuss a new contract this offseason, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

“He’s going to be entering the final year of his contract next season,” Charania said on “Run It Back” on May 15. “You’re not going to let a coach like Tom Thibodeau go into a lame duck year, so that’s why I’m told both sides will discuss a new deal in the offseason. The Knicks very much want to lock in Tom Thibodeau long-term.”

Despite Thibodeau’s unpopular status among NBA players around the league, he’s been the best coach the Knicks had in over two decades. He’s compiled a 175-143 record in his first four seasons with the Knicks while leading them to three playoff berths and two Eastern Conference semifinal appearances. He also earned his second NBA Coach of the Year along the way. His 175 wins are the fifth-most by a Knick coach in franchise history.

After Tuesday’s 121-91 rout of the Indiana Pacers in Game 5, the Knicks moved one win away from their first Eastern Conference Finals trip since 2000.

‘Eight-Figure Deal’

Charania projected Thibodeau’s next deal to be lucrative based on his winning record and the recent coaching contracts.

“He’s at about a $7 million per season right on his current deal, and we see where these coaching contracts are going,” Charania continued. “And so it wouldn’t surprise anyone if his next deal approaches eight figures.”

Knicks’ conference rival Miami Heat awarded their longtime head coach and two-time champion coach Erik Spoelstra with a staggering eight-year extension worth $120 million. Four-time champion coach Steve Kerr bagged a two-year, $35 million extension with the Golden State Warriors.

The Phoenix Suns gave former champion coach and two-time NBA Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer a five-year contract worth roughly $50 million. The last-placed Detroit Pistons inked Monty Williams to six years worth $78.5 million.

“The Knicks very much want to lock in Tom Thibodeau long term…It wouldn’t surprise anyone if his next deal approaches 8-figures.”

@ShamsCharania on the #Knicks and Tom Thibodeau

Josh Hart Blasts Tom Thibodeau’s Critics

Thibodeau is an unpopular coach outside New York after he was voted again as the least favorite NBA coach among players in The Athletic poll for the second straight year.

He’s drawn another wave of criticism for running his players to the ground after the Knicks looked gassed in a 121-89 loss in Game 4 in Indiana. But his players would run through a brick wall for him.

“You expect ignorance when people have no idea what goes on in this building,” Hart told reporters before the Knicks bounced back with an emphatic 30-point Game 5 win. “People love to have a narrative or a label and run with it. None of those guys are here watching us practice. None of those guys are watching what we do.

At the end of the day, in the seventh year of my career, I’ve probably had more off days than I’ve had on other days. We don’t go contact in practice. Everyone thinks we do three-hour practices of scrimmaging. It’s idiotic to put it on him. He’s not going to say anything about it. He’s going to take it on the chin and keep on moving.”

Asked Josh Hart about the dialogue surrounding Thibs being responsible for Knicks injuries.

“You expect ignorance when people have no idea what goes on in this building.”

He calls it “idiotic” and says “put any of those guys in this position and see what they do.”

Thibodeau has no other recourse but to play his remaining core extended minutes with injuries to key players Julius Randle, OG Anunoby, Mitchell Robinson and Bojan Bogdanovic.

Alder Almo is a basketball journalist covering the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors for Heavy. He has more than 15 years of experience in local and international media, including broadcast, print and digital. He previously covered the Knicks for Empire Sports Media and the NBA for Off the Glass. Alder is from the Philippines and is now based in Jersey City, New Jersey. More about Alder Almo

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