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Report: Thibs leading candidate for Knicks head coaching vacancy

Tom Thibodeau is at the top of the list for the Knicks as they look to bring in a new face for the franchise.

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Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau calls a play during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Target Center. Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have launched their search for a new head coach and the leading candidate is Tom Thibodeau, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Mike Vorkunov. The Knicks are expected to make a decision in the next few weeks, per the report.

The Knicks entered the 2019-20 season with David Fizdale at the helm. He was fired after going 4-18 to start the season and was replaced with interim coach Mike Miller. The former sharpshooter did an admirable job replacing Fizdale for a Knicks team that lacks talent and was dealing with injuries to veteran players. New president of basketball operations Leon Rose is in place for New York and is expected to bring in a new face for the Knicks.

Thibodeau could be that face and it would be a pretty experienced, albeit scary at times, face. Thibs is best remembered for his stint with the Chicago Bulls from 2010-2015. Thibodeau led Derrick Rose and the Bulls to the playoffs in all of his five seasons as coach. It was the most successful run for the Bulls since Michael Jordan in the 1990s. Thibs finished his career in Chicago on bad terms but with a 255-139 record (.647 winning percentage). He will be remembered more for the playoff exits and 23-28 postseason record.

After that, Thibs met up with former Bull Jimmy Butler on the Minnesota Timberwolves. That three-season stint resulted in one playoff berth, one series loss and a 97-107 record. Thibs was fired mid-way through last season. Thibs isn’t known for being a players coach, rather an old school, hard-nosed approach to the job. This would sort of be a weird hire for a Knicks team looking to add high-profile superstars to revitalize the franchise. Thibs is well respected in the NBA community, there’s no doubt about that. There’s no question Thibodeau can lead a team in the regular season. Can he do it in the playoffs? Can he do it in the finals? We don’t know.