NY Daily News: Kenny Atkinson is on Knicks coaching list: report

From Stefan Bondy:

The former Nets coach will be among the candidates interviewed for the Knicks position, according to The Athletic. As previously reported, Tom Thibodeau and Mike Miller are also expected to sit down with team president Leon Rose for consideration.

Atkinson unexpectedly became available after being fired by the Nets in March, just about a week before the NBA season shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 52-year-old Long Island product had Brooklyn in a playoff spot despite the absence of his two best players — Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. However, Atkinson never connected with Irving, in particular, and owner Joe Tsai consulted with players before making the decision not to retain his coach.

Atkinson’s strength is development, and the Knicks remain in that phase with a young group highlighted by RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox. They’ll also have a lottery pick in the upcoming draft.

Some surprisingly nice news.

It’d be pretty cool if they hired him.

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219 thoughts to “NY Daily News: Kenny Atkinson is on Knicks coaching list: report”

  1. kenny atkinson would probably be the best coach we’ve had since jvg….. yes better than mda…

  2. RIght now RJ Barrett is thinking “Hmmm, Thibs or Atkinson, would I rather play 48 minutes a game or get yanked for a bad pass and play 15 minutes?”

  3. This will be a tough call. I’m sure Dolan would like to try and stick it to the Nets, but I have to believe the job is basically Thibs’ because of Rose.

    If it’s Thibs, I’d think they would only go for guys with top-level athleticism – just a guess. Hampton, Cole, Kira… maybe even Okoro? I would bet on Kira.

  4. Whenever you have the chance to hire a head coach with a career 118-190 record who just got fired because he couldn’t get along with his star players you gotta jump all over it!

    I’m sorta joking but as I’ve mentioned already here I really can’t understand all the hate on Thibs. I mean I get questions surrounding him of course and understand the apprehension about hiring him but I can already see how this site is going to react if Thibs is hired as if they’d be hiring the worst coach ever when in fact they’d be hiring a pretty damn good coach with a proven track record. I’d be thrilled if they hire Atkinson too but it’s just funny to me all the love for Atkinson when he just got fired because he couldn’t get along with most notably his highest paid players yet everyone freaks out cause Thibs is going to play his best players too much.

    Regardless I’d be happy with Thibs or Atkinson, either one would be the best head coach this franchise has had since D’Antoni.

  5. My vibe is that most here are generally ok with Thibs. Most probably aren’t wowed by him but definitely think he’s a safer pick than most of the other names that have been thrown around (Mark Jackson, etc.)

  6. I’m from a small city on the Hudson that’s recently gotten a ton of press for the cool, sleepy, artsy NYC bedroom community it’s become.

    Is it Dobbs Ferry, by chance?

  7. Sometimes I find a great place in one of these Hudson towns on Zillow and I get really excited about it and then I look at the tax estimates. How does anyone live in Westchester county?

    EDIT: and I love Westchester

  8. I’ve been on a few short boat trips along the hudson… it would be nice to take a little longer trip along the river…

    damn, add river cruises to gardening and yoga – more shit that when I was younger I never thought I’d ever wanna do in life…

    now that I’ve come to better terms with home schooling and working from home – been spending a lot more time in the garden lately…

    gardening out here is a challenge if you like green things, the sun can be brutal, I have a couple hundred square feet of space and I got three umbrellas, huge rose bush, lemon tree and a couple of hibiscus for shade, and – it ain’t enough…

    actually had a random redwood seed land in the flower bed…I’ve planted everything except the rose bush, so when this little stick started coming out the ground I was curious to see what it was…took me about 3 years to figure it out…it didn’t look like anything else nearby…finally saw something similiar at a local park, some huge redwood tree…

    had to cut it down when it was about 5 or so…broke my heart, great shade, birds absolutely loved the tree…

    hoa though…plus, I knew it wasn’t in the right spot, it started growing really fast…it was funny – the gardner had a hell of time cutting it down…kept stalling out the chain saw…

    wanna pick up another one of those waterfall patio things, I wanna get one in a bamboo style, I like that rhythmic wood click…they really help block out surrounding noise…

  9. I’m good with keeping Miller as HC, but hiring Atkinson and retaining Miller as a lead assistant is just as good. Thibs is a great coach but in this scenario, he’s option 3 for me.
    1. Miller
    2. Atkinson with Miller
    3. Thibs

  10. Ideally, we’d hire Thibs as the head coach and Atkinson as an assistant, but I’m pretty sure Atkinson will find a head coaching job somewhere. I don’t get the Thib’s hate. He’s one of the best coaches on the planet. He wasn’t a good executive for the T-Wolves when he had both jobs, but that’s a familiar story.

  11. Well since you’re hiring Thibs exclusively for his defensive chops (we know he’s a mediocre offensive coach and has regressive ideas about minutes and player conditioning) the question is what the hell happened with the defenses in Minnesota.

    If you believe it was exclusively a talent issue and he’s still an A+ defensive coach then yeah it’s probably a good hire. I’m still worried about it being more of the same “eat what you kill” garbage on offense, and I think you’ll need strong oversight from the front office to make sure the minutes thing doesn’t get out of control but those are theoretically addressable issues and there was a time where he was considered a great, great coach plus the JVG lineage thing is a nice bonus.

    On the other hand I think there’s a strong case to be made that he made his defensive bones with a system tailored to a very specific period – after the removal of the illegal defense rules but before the 3-point explosion, where he basically cracked the code. But teams have now gone to a completely different level in terms of willingness to shoot a diet of strictly 3s and it may be that his style of defense is just antiquated now. If he can’t adapt you’re maybe getting a guy whose supposed strength as a coach is now a borderline liability. I think he has real questions to answer at this point and it sure seems like the league largely shares that view – he’s not exactly getting bandied about as a name for a lot of other jobs since he left the Wolves.

  12. Minny’s offense was pretty good under Thibs actually. And their defense wasn’t great but it did improve under Thibs.

    I don’t know. I think some of the critiques of Thibs are overblown.

    It seems like his downfall in Minny is attributed to 2 main things. First, he was GM for a good chunk of that time and made some bad moves as GM. Second, he didn’t get along with Wiggins or KAT. KAT is insanely talented on the offensive end but so far hasn’t really shown that he’s a true star because his defense is pretty bad and he doesn’t seem to have that drive to want to get better. He’s still young, of course, but he seems to be resting on his laurels. The Twolves made the playoffs under Thibs. They had the infamous Jimmy butler practice but Butler didn’t have beef with Thibs, it was with KAT and Wiggins for being lazy. And even when he was fired, Thibs still had them at around 500. They did better under Thibs than they did before Thibs or after he left.

    As far as the minutes thing, I think he’s gotten the message and wouldn’t do what he did in Chicago. But I also think its a little unfair to blame any injury on him. Rose was a PG that relied heavily on his athleticism and his style of play was attacking the basket with reckless abandon and drawing contact. Guards like that are bound to get hurt and when they lose some of their athleticism, they aren’t as good. And Noah also was a player who played at 200 percent all the time. He dove for loose balls into the stands during regular season games against The Kings. He was just that kind of player. So its not surprising to me that he eventually got hurt.

    I just think that there’s a narrative around Thibs that is now accepted as the truth when the reality is more nuanced than that.

  13. IMO, these are the 9 best proven playoff caliber coaches in the NBA. Only 1 of them is available.

    Hiring Atkinson feels like a short term developmental move with the hope he can prove himself later in the playoffs when the game changes and adjustments matter. If he can’t we’ll be looking for another new coach in 2-3 years.

    Why not just hire the best available coach?

    Brad Stevens
    Greg Popovich
    Erik Spoelstra
    M. Budenholzer
    Nick Nurse
    Rick Carlisle
    Steve Kerr
    Doc Rivers
    Tom Thibodeau

  14. the problem with thibs is that this isn’t a veteran team fighting for a playoff spot…. this is a young team and thibs only had experience with a young team in minnesota and he didnt’ exactly develop them into a powerhouse… by the time thibs took over the bulls they were already pretty decent…..

    atkinson has a proven track record with young teams…. they didn’t have the benefit of lottery picks and while marks did a great job of drafting players…. atkinson does deserves just as much credit in sheperding the likes of dinwiddie…. levert… russell… allen…. harris… to nba relevance… half of them probably had one foot out the doors of the nba also….

    for me.. the choice is clear…. thibs should be the guy in brooklyn and atkinson should be coaching the knicks….

  15. Seems obvious to me. Hire Atkinson for 2-3 years to develop the kids and get them to relevance. Dump him and hire Thibs from wherever he’s just worn out his welcome to get them over the hump and to 45-50 wins. Then after say two years dump him and hire Kerr, who should be done and dusted with GS and finally interested in coming to NY and a relevant team, to take them to the top.

    Hey, a girl can dream…

  16. djphan,

    What you are basically suggesting is that we are better off hiring a coach with a good developmental record even though he couldn’t get along with his star players, was fired, and is still unproven as a playoff caliber coach. If he fails in the playoffs later then we should hire someone like Thibs when we are actually ready to complete.

    Thibs was doing very well with the T-Wolves. His problem was that he made some poor salary decisions as an executive. Then Jimmy Butler refused to play with Towns and Wiggins because of their attitudes. If it was just Thibs that couldn’t get through to Towns and Wiggins, I’d hold him responsible and consider a black mark. But Butler still says great things about Thibs. That means the problem was Towns and Wiggin and not that he can’t develop young talent. He took that team from garbage to playing playoff basketball. They they fell off the cliff again as soon as he left.

    I like Atkinson. He also kind of fits the stage we are at now, But Thibs is the way more proven coach. It’s not even close.

  17. on our list of problems…. finding a playoff caliber coach is pretty far down the list considering we’re pretty far away from playoff caliber basketball….

    our problem is finding talent and developing an nba worthy roster….. it’s an open question on whether any of these guys will be on the roster in 3 to 4 years…. thibs in that environment who leans on whoever and whatever it takes to win basketball games is not the guy for that kind of roster…. he will churn through everyone… complain that his player sucks… fight for control… lose and jump ship in two years just like every other coach we got that fit this MO….

    in this entire post 2000 era rebuild… not once have we got a coach willing and able to develop because someone upstairs wanted a) a big name and b) wanted to win meaningless games or c) picked the wrong guy….

    atikinson is finally that guy… i dunno what even thibs has proven…. he hasn’t proven shit with the kind of roster this devoid of talent…. atkinson has… in fact he’s probably had worse rosters…. what else is there to argue about?

  18. When did it become an accepted irrefutable truth that there are “development” coaches that are only good with young teams and “win now” coaches that are only good with good veteran teams that are ready to win it all?

    A good coach is a good coach and should be able to do both. I’m sure this dichotomy might be true in some instances but I think it’s rather silly that this has become an accepted truth in basketball.

  19. I’m fine with either Thibs or Atkinson. My concern with Thibs really has nothing to do with Thibs himself, it’s that the front office is signalling it doesn’t want to rebuild and would rather hire 5 more Bobby Portises (Porti?) to win now.

    There’s a lot of unknowns with both coaches, like whether coaching really matter that much, so I don’t think there’s an a priori better pick. I’d like to see what Thibs does with the defense, give him a chance at maximizing the value of Mitch & Frank. I’d also like to see if Atkinson can turn our cadre of young bricklayers into serviceable basketball players.

  20. I maintain my position that as long as we avoid major fuck-ups we can build a winning team. The only consistent cellar dwellers are those that consistently make major fuck-ups. I don’t think either of these coaches are major fuck-up moves, so whatever.

  21. (Minny’s offense was pretty good under Thibs actually.)

    This is true but I just can’t give him much credit for it. I’ve posted about this before but when you look under the hood of those offenses there’s some stuff that looks like very problematic coaching to me. Focusing on just the playoff season (but other years were the same story), Jamal Crawford (.519 TS) and Wiggins (.505) both had higher usages the KAT (.646). So did Derrick Rose (.463) in a very limited sample after he joined late in the year. So did Butler of course, but he’s good. He had one of the most talented offensive big men ever, and ran an offense where a bunch of shoot first gunners in the backcourt basically ignored him to throw up bricks. It worked out okay on the whole but I give most of the credit to KAT and Butler, not Thibs.

    (Second, he didn’t get along with Wiggins or KAT.)

    Again I agree but I guess I see failure to get along with or bring the best out of young guys as a pretty big red flag in our situation. In particular both Wiggins and KAT were considered awesome defensive prospects coming into the league and the failure to get them to defend at all I have to hold at least a little against Thibs. Maybe just the scouts were wrong about those guys but I do think it’s a little generous to Thibs to say the defenses failed because of lack of talent when the lack of talent only became clear in hindsight.

  22. When did it become an accepted irrefutable truth that there are “development” coaches that are only good with young teams and “win now” coaches that are only good with good veteran teams that are ready to win it all?

    A good coach is a good coach and should be able to do both. I’m sure this dichotomy might be true in some instances but I think it’s rather silly that this has become an accepted truth in basketball.

    I strongly disagree with this take. Being a basketball coach is an amalgamation of a ton of quite different skills. Everything from effectively managing a staff, communicating with the media, getting along with players, installing effective systems, making tactical adjustments, helping players improve their skills, and a bunch of others (most of those listed could be further broken down as well). Every coach is stronger in some aspects and weaker in others and will be a good fit in situations where their strong aspects are emphasized and a bad fit in situations where their weak aspects are emphasized.

    Your post is like asking when it became accepted that there are “shooters” and “shot blockers” . A good basketball player is a good basketball player and should be able to do both.

  23. What you are basically suggesting is that we are better off hiring a coach with a good developmental record even though he couldn’t get along with his star players, was fired, and is still unproven as a playoff caliber coach

    We don’t have any star players and we haven’t been to the playoffs since 2013

  24. Comparing a coach to a player in regards to skills is not fair at all.

    I’m not saying there aren’t different skills to being a coach or that some coaches might not be better at development and others are better at managing veteran teams. Just that I think its a fallacy that its been accepted now as an irrefutable truth that a coach can only do one or the other.

    I mean, when does a coach become a win now coach? Does a coach who coaches a really good team automatically get put into the win now category?

    Was Kerr a win now hire by Golden State? He had never coached before. If he coached The Warriors before Mark Jackson would he have failed at developing that team because he could only take them to the next level once they were good?

    The Bulls were 41-41 the season before Thibs took over. They were the 8th seed. I mean, that’s the definition of an average team so obviously they had a foundation. But the next season they won 62 games! That’s a huge increase. Was player development completely out of the equation when calculating for why they improved so much?

    Drawing up plays in time out. Rotation management. Defensive and offensive schemes. Getting the most out of your players. These are things that development coaches and win now coaches need to do and if a coach does these things well, it will benefit a rookie and a veteran.

  25. I get that it’s a potential red flag if he didn’t get along with a few young players.

    But come on. Wiggins? He is routinely derided on this blog as an inefficient, overpaid, overhyped player. And its pretty well known that KAT plays zero defense. I know this is an offense first league but call me old fashioned. I’d still like my big men to give good rim protection and interior defense. Its still an important aspect of the game that usually helps teams win.

    I maintain Thibs’ problems in Minny are overblown. He did all right with them. better than they did before or after he was there and his biggest mistakes were as a GM, not as a coach.

    Also, Jimmy Butler turned out to be a pretty good player who developed under Thibs. Second round pick.

    Also, we have some decent young players as far as defense goes. Mitch, Frank, maybe even RJ. They might do well under Thibs.

    PEople slob all over Atkinson because of two good seasons with The Nets. It was a nice job but Thibs has a much longer track record of success. It just seems like a double standard. We fault thibs for not getting along with KAT but then dismiss Atkinson not getting along with Kyrie and KD.

    Its pretty simple to me. Atkinson is the sexy, shiny new toy and Thibs is the old toy that’s been around so people ignore it.

  26. I have always felt coaches are window dressing. Certainly, they shape the experience of rooting for the team quite a bit, the narrative around it. On the edges they probably matter some. For the most part though, the teams with the best players and with the biggest superstars are generally going to win.

    It’s always been fascinating to me how much credit they receive and how much a part of the story they always are.

    I do think Thibs would be terrible window dressing but I don’t think he’ll matter one bit when it comes to wins.

  27. the problem with judging coaches is that their biggest contributions are largely unseen…. how they lead the locker room…. run practices… what they prioritize in their gameplans…. how detail oriented they get… the things they are actually adding is very hard to decipher…. you’re left with the product on the court and that generally gets muddled up by how the people on the court are doing…..

    that’s why a lot of times coaching is judged by wins… as far as laymen’s go…. phil jackson was a great coach.. he has the rings to prove it… but was adelman maybe better? maybe…. could he won have 6 rings as the bulls coach? maybe..maybe not… could phil have taken the blazers, rockets and kings to the success they had? who knows….

    that is why like with any leadership position… it’s really about meeting the moment…. what are the circumstances you are in and what do you need to achieve your goals…. winston churchill was a great war time leader… and ppl thought he was horrible after the war….

    and so what are our goals? it’s certainly not making the playoffs….. we are no where near thinking about competing at any sort of serious level…. on the win curve we are very much still in the talent accumulation phase…. and so far we really only have mitch and rj at the moment and the jury is still out on them…

    i don’t know if thibs is the right coach… it’s a lot more murky than i or anyone else will lead you to believe… BUT … based off of what we know about thibs and the types of teams he has succeeded with…. what he chooses to talk about in public….. his track record…. there’s very little in the way of him developing young players …

    to me… if you’re going to prioritize thibs that means you probably think we’re better than we are or that doing the things that develop young players don’t matter…. i would disagree with that wholeheartedly….

  28. and seriously…. getting along with kd and kyrie isn’t exactly a problem unique to atkinson….

  29. I know it’s just betting odds, but ooph, the fact that Mark Jackson still has the second-best betting odds to being the next Knicks coach is brutal.

    But the odds make it clear that it’s obvious that they’re hiring Thibs (he’s 1/2, Jackson is a distant second at 7/2).

  30. When we hired Fizdale i thought, well, his record with the Grizzles was reasonable and he was a modern coach but some players resisted modernity. I had high hopes for him. But it turned out he wasn’t good and Memphis had reason to move on from him. I’m getting the same vibe about Atkinson. He’s like Fizdale in that his team seemed to do well with him, just that some players wanted someone different. Now I’m thinking maybe NJ was right to move on from him and we will find out why if we hire him.

    I don’t get the same feeling about Thibs. He was fired by Chicago because of conflicts with management, not players; and he was fired from Minnesota for his GM performance, not his coaching performance. Even though I worry about his maybe overusing players, this board has convinced me that may just be smoke. I’m willing to to take a chance on him and prefer him to Atkinson.

    That said, Miller seems quite competent. I’d prefer Miller to Atkinson. I don’t know who to pick between Miller and Thibs.

  31. he was fired from Minnesota for his GM performance, not his coaching performance.

    A lot of people pushing this idea but I think you can easily make the argument that the only reason his stint wasn’t a totally unmitigated disaster was the heist of a Jimmy Butler trade. Other than that his tenure looks pretty indistinguishable from the Sam Mitchell era that preceded it and the Ryan Saunders era that followed it.

  32. when thibs was coach… andrew wiggins and jamal crawford had higher usage rates than KAT….

    there were absolutely a lot of things wrong with thibs’ coaching performancing in minny…..

  33. Thenanestam, that’s an interesting point. He did do well to get Butler, but totally screwed up in spending money on contracts. But I don’t think you can say his results were indistinguishable from that of Michell and Saunders. Mitchell coached one season and was 29 and 53, which was slightly worse than Thibs first season of 31 and 51. The next season, with Butler, he was 47 and 35. I am skeptical that much improvement was due solely to acquiring Butler. I think you have to assume Thibs did a good job as coach. But his GM screwups with contracts were hard on him as a coach the next season when he lasted 30 games and was 19 and 21. Saunders did significantly worse after that with a record of 17 and 25 for the remainder of that season. Over all, I conclude he was better than Saunders and probably better than Michell. But that doesn’t make him great, so I partially agree with you.

    This is one reason I think Miller might be as good as Thibs. In his last season, Thibs was on a 33 win pace. That’s not much different from how Miller did as head coach of the Knicks, and Miller probably had worse talent.

  34. Not sure how i only became of aware of this Game of Zones episode today but this is hilarious.

    I kind of feel like at least one of the Malamuts is on this board. I can’t believe there is any other way that a Tyreke Evans to the Knicks on a 5 year contract joke got written.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUcn2OhbWb4

  35. In it’s most general terms, management is the conversion of assets to output. Is there any metric, besides wins that analyzes the efficacy of coaching. Each coach has such different assets. Not to mention pressure from the front office to act in a way the coach would not otherwise do so. How effective would Phil Jackson have been with this year’s roster?

  36. when thibs was coach… andrew wiggins and jamal crawford had higher usage rates than KAT….

    This should be disqualifying. Seriously, what more do we need to see? They had a good offense because Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler are very good at basketball, but it seems like Thibs impeded that more than anything else.

    It boggles my mind that people are worried about Atkinson potentially not getting along well with stars. I mean, newsflash: https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/NYK/2020.html

    The Nets were top 5 in 3PA every season Atkinson was coach. I understand that on its own is not some perfect indicator of quality coaching, it sure would be nice to have a coach who has a grasp of the modern game for once.

    His record on player development is also unimpeachable, which again, I understand is largely attributable to the players themselves, but we’ve had a series of coaches who sure seem to actively get in the way of developing young players.

    Atkinson’s drawbacks appear to be that he doesn’t get along well with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. What relevance does that have to our coaching decision?

  37. “on our list of problems…. finding a playoff caliber coach is pretty far down the list considering we’re pretty far away from playoff caliber basketball….”

    Thibs is a good coach period. He was doing fine with Minnesota. It was Wiggins and Towns that were the problem. If Thibs was the coaching problem, Thibs would have been fired, Butler would have stayed to play with Towns, and Butler wouldn’t defend Thibs publicly. What happened was Butler couldn’t get away from Towns and Wiggins fast enough because of their attitude and work ethic.

    If you think Robinson, RJ, Frank, Knox and whoever we draft this year won’t be able to handle a tough coach that demands hard work, then we are drafting the wrong players not hiring the wrong coach. I look at that list and think every one of them will be down for working their asses off for Thibs.

  38. If you think Robinson, RJ, Frank, Knox and whoever we draft this year won’t be able to handle a tough coach that demands hard work, then we are drafting the wrong players not hiring the wrong coach. I look at that list and think every one of them will be down for working their asses off for Thibs.

    OH MY GOD A THOUSAND TIMES THIS.

    Look, I get the younger of players isn’t like the old school dudes and the bobby knight approach to coaching doesn’t work anymore. But forgive me if I think we should be afraid to pick a coach because he might actually try to push young players to get better and not moddycoddle them and stroke their egos and tell them they’re doing a great job when they aren’t.

    We want players who want to get better. Period. Jimmy butler was a second round pick and put in an insane amount of work to get better. Is he an asshole? Sure, maybe. He’s also a great player. Lebron can be an asshole too. They don’t all need to be Jordan and that extreme maybe doesn’t work as much anymore but I don’t want players who need to have their hand held and told how great they are when they aren’t. I get these dudes all have egos and are all ready insanely talented and put in work to get where they are now. But I don’t want players who will rest on their laurels and get their ego’s hurt when a coach dares to sit them when they fuck up or ride them when they aren’t doing their best.

  39. “that’s why a lot of times coaching is judged by wins… as far as laymen’s go…”

    At higher levels coaches are judged by how well they do in general given the players they are given to work with, how they handle adjustments during games, their play calling, how adaptable they are with players with different skills, whether the team improves or declines when they take over or leave, whether the locker room is buying into their philosophy and things like that. Of course, if they can’t get along with their star players or management, that becomes a disqualifying attribute.

  40. it’s not like atkinson’s a terrible coach that won’t demand hard work….

    he had less talent on the nets and had just as good a record as thibs did… what exactly are we using as evidence that thibs actually knows what he’s doing?

    he’s a good coach? ok show it….

  41. I don’t see anyone raising objections to Thibs because he demands too much work or whatever. The objections are that he seems to have no grasp of how to structure an offense, his defensive schemes are outdated, and his minute allocations are a mess.

  42. Sarcasm Alert!

    Tyron Lue is a proven champ.
    3 Finals in 3 years! 1 chip only but a historic one.
    He may be even better than Kerr.
    Why not go after him ?

  43. I’d be happy with Thibs or Atkinson or Miller or even Mark Jackson!
    I see all of them as good coaches and id love to see their different approach on our young core.

    Miller showed something this season.
    His gentle and mild demeanor preached patience and high character.

    Who’s the best of those 4 ?
    I really can’t tell. It’s a multidimensional thing and luck has to do a lot with it.
    It’s like a relationship.
    You just Never Know what’s going to happen….

    Ready to Enjoy any possible ride!

  44. I mean what else do you have to go on besides a coaches record?

    Thibs has a good one as a head coach and it’s a pretty lengthy career at this point.

    He also was the head assistant for Boston during their championship years and was part of JVG’s staff during the late 90s Knicks heyday.

    As far as resumes go and who he worked under before he was a head coach, it’s hard to really knock his credentials.

    But apparently basketball has changed so much in the last 5 years that any coach who had success before that is now an ancient dinosaur who could never coach in today’s game. It’s just so different there’s no way a coach could adapt.

  45. But apparently basketball has changed so much in the last 5 years

    Thibs coached a team in 2017-2018.

    They were dead last in the league in 3PA.
    5 guys saw 33+ MPG.
    Jamal Crawford (.519 TS%) and Andrew Wiggins (.505 TS%) had higher usage rates than Karl-Anthony Towns.

    He got his second chance and failed.

  46. It’s weird, though. Still 4th in ORtg, but 27th in DRtg.

    It’s almost like… like players matter more than coaches do.

  47. Players matter more than coaches when teams are winning.
    But when teams are losing it’s always coach’s fault.
    It’s almost like…like an NBPA conspiracy.

  48. Thibs coached a team in 2017-2018.

    They were dead last in the league in 3PA.
    5 guys saw 33 MPG.
    Jamal Crawford (.519 TS%) and Andrew Wiggins (.505 TS%) had higher usage rates than Karl-Anthony Towns.

    He got his second chance and failed.

    So he had good results with a system you hate. It’s not possible that opponents defenses focused on Towns so much that other players ended up taking shots? It’d be one thing if that system resulted in horrible offense but it was actually 4th in the league per the post above. My conclusion is that he had good offensive players who were lousy at defense and he made the best of that situation. That’s what coaches are supposed to do.

  49. So he had good results with a system you hate.

    He won 47 games and was gentlemen’s swept in the first round.

  50. You’re conveniently leaving out the part that they only won 47 games because Butler got hurt right after the All-Star break and missed 17 straight games where they went 8-9. That was the only time the Wolves have made the playoffs in the past 16 seasons.

    For the sake of this site I hope Atkinson is hired because if the Knicks hire Thibs every game they lose will have a bunch of people complaining it’s Thibs fault and saying they would’ve won if Atkinson was the coach. Hell even games they win people would be bitching because he played somebody too many minutes or they didn’t shoot enough 3pters. It will be even more nauseating than the tiresome Frank debates.

  51. He got his second chance and failed.

    Ok by this logic Doc Rivers and Mike Dantoni should have never been given another shot at coaching and if Atkinson fails as coach of the knicks he shouldn’t get a third shot as well.

    Ridiculous comment.

  52. If we get to the point where we lose a gentleman’s sweep in the first round, I’m sure people will complain. People complained when we lost a hard fought series to the pacers in the second round. But I promise, I won’t complain.

  53. He took over a 29 win team and then they won 31 games the next season with more or less the same squad, both seasons with a solid offense and a terrible defense. The next year they pulled off the big trade for Jimmy Butler and won 47 games with a really good offense and the same terrible defense. Next year Jimmy goes bonkers and Thibs is out and they’re a little worse the second half with Flip Saunders kid. I don’t know, I don’t think Thibs did a terrible job but i don’t see much evidence he did a good job either.

  54. I just think it’s funny that on a stats driven blog that also talks about sample size everyone is salivating over Atkinson and dissing Thibs when the stat that matters the most for coaching clearly favors Thibs over Atkinson.

    I mean how many times have I been ridiculed (and probably rightfully so) for making excuses or trying to explain why a certain player is or isn’t living up to their potential but when we talk about coaches apparently their win-loss record isn’t a real indication of how good of a coach they are.

    You coach the players your given. Rose and Noah were certainly good players before Thibs but they played like superstars under thibs. Butler became a legit all star under thibs. His record is a winning record. Period. And he did better with Minny than they did before or after him. These facts are irrefutable as is his coaching record.

    I’m not saying Atkinson wouldn’t be good. But the love he gets is based on two decent seasons with The Nets. And I don’t get why it’s ok for him to not get along with Kyrie and KD but it’s not ok for Thibs to not get along with Wiggins and KAT. KD and Kyrie are legit all stars. Wiggins most certainly is not and with KAT it’s debatable bc he hasn’t achieved shit in his career yet despite some nice offensive numbers.

    But I get it. Artkinson is a development guru and a thibs is a dinosaur.

  55. But I get it. Artkinson is a development guru and a thibs is a dinosaur.

    Basically, yeah.

    And even if both views are overblown, if one guy’s strength is development and the other guy’s isn’t, you go for the development guy every day of the week and twice on Sundays when you have this roster.

  56. Thibs won a playoff series where they won Game 7 on the road in Brooklyn and Nate freaking Robinson was the Bulls 2nd leading scorer for the entire series! That alone should put Thibs in the HOF lol.

  57. And let’s not also forget that Thibs is a War hero:

    “Thibodeau has never been married.
    According to a 2012 New York Times article, Thibodeau was engaged while he was in graduate school at Salem State, but called it off a month or two before the wedding.”

  58. when the stat that matters the most for coaching clearly favors Thibs over Atkinson.

    Is this a joke? Do you think the top 10 coaches on the all-time wins list are the 10 best coaches ever?

    I’ve already spent more time arguing about this than I should’ve. This decision won’t matter much–we’ll get good players and we’ll be good, or we won’t and we won’t.

    The evidence that Thibs is suboptimal is staring us in the face. We’ve been in the bottom third of the league in 3PA every year since 2013-2014 and I’m personally getting a little sick of it, but I guess some people think our offensive schemes have been just dandy,

    We haven’t made the dumb decision yet guys, we don’t have to talk ourselves into it yet! We can still hire the guy who could at least, like, probably tell you what true shooting percentage is if put on the spot.

  59. I think all three (Miller included) would be decent choices. I vote Atkinson more because of what Al said. I have PTSD with this team. I’d love a little less drama. Any coach will get shit (welcome to the NBA, and Knickerblogger), but Thibs comes with a pre-ordained drop-down menu of complaints. At least folks will have to work a bit to figure out what to complain about with Atkinson (or Miller). The Thibs civil war would get old really fast (I assume you’ve seen the Ringer piece about him that just came out — https://www.theringer.com/nba/2020/5/28/21273402/tom-thibodeau-knicks-coaching-rumors).

  60. I mean yeah his prior two coaching stints have pretty much ended in disaster for everyone involved, but have you considered the strong institutional culture of the New York Knicks? Things like that just don’t happen here.

  61. i’m not so gungho about atkinson over thibs as i make it out to be… it’s kind of sort of close.. but i think the decision is clear…. there’s lots of evidence to suggest that atkinson will help the guys that we have…. he salvaged TWO careers…. dinwiddie and russell….. and developed some other mid to low first rd picks into capable nba players…..

    that’s exactly the position we are in…. i know thibs and his veteran teams and his go get it attitude and emphasis on defense is attractive to some (or most) here…. but there’s no evidence that he can take nurture a team that doesn’t know who it’s good players are…. it’s not even clear that he knows who is a good player and who’s not….

    fizdale had that problem… i thought miller had that problem too…. and i kind of think thibs sort of has that problem as well…. atkinson is not dumb…. and there’s plenty of reasons to suggest that he’s actually kind of smart….

  62. I really don’t believe any coach could have made us good three point shooters. Our point guard rotation was Payton, Ntilikina and DSJ. After Morris, our most consistent three point shooter was Portis. Should we really have started Portis because three pointers are good? Let’s not play Robinson at all because he can’t shoot three pointers? Our offense was terrible and probably could have been better with different coaching (but probably our defense would have been worse). But let’s not pretend having Atkinson as coach would have suddenly made us a good three point shooting team.

  63. Simple Facts
    1. 3pointers are better than 2pointers.
    2. Current knicks roster is shit on both.
    3. Coaches are not superheroes.

  64. From the Ringer piece Raven linked to…

    Knicks fans aren’t as eager. Yet. This New York Daily News article stating that Thibodeau would be a “good hire” is the only endorsement I could find online. Surely they’ll come around. It seems many fans want former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson to fill the position over Thibs, an opinion I don’t fully understand since Atkinson is known for developing players, fostering good culture, and turning previously incapacitated rosters into fun League Pass teams with upside, while Thibodeau can do cool things like alienate an entire roster and go weeks without seeing the sun. I mean, what the hell?

    Heh.

  65. Re: the draft, I’m kinda rooting for Toppin now. Why the hell not? Give me Toppin, Bane, and Flynn with Atkinson and just shoot like crazy.

  66. thenoblefacehumper:

    We haven’t made the dumb decision yet guys, we don’t have to talk ourselves into it yet! We can still hire the guy who could at least, like, probably tell you what true shooting percentage is if put on the spot.

    Shit like this is what I’m talking about. You really fucking think that Tom Thibodeau, a guy who was an ast coach on teams that went to the NBA Finals 3 times and won a championship who also was head coach of a team that won 62 games in a season is not as smart as you? Plus the guy was a head coach from 2010 thru 2019, not exactly the stone age.

    Again man listen I’ll be thrilled if Atkinson is hired and gun to my head I’d choose Atkinson over Thibs. But my God it’s ridiculous the takes on here about what an awful coach Thibs is, all this coming from people who probably have never coached even a little league team in their lives but look at basketball reference and assume they are smarter than most NBA coaches.

    BTW I coached my little brother and won championships in both baseball and basketball at the 14u levels so I know what I’m talking about! Granted this was in 2000 so I’m pretty old school but I can adapt if forced to coach today lol.

  67. I’m a 48 year old musician with zero athletic ability and I’ve never coached anything in my life, but even I knew that signing Joakim Noah to a 4/72 contract was a horrible idea. The greatest coach who ever lived somehow did not know this.

  68. Again man listen I’ll be thrilled if Atkinson is hired and gun to my head I’d choose Atkinson over Thibs.

    Why?

  69. Brian Cronin: Why?

    Cause I too am impressed with what he did with the Nets before this season and he was an ast under D’Antoni so he knows what works in the modern day NBA offensively. But like I’ve been saying all along I think Thibs is a very good coach and would be happy if he was hired, especially when you look at the alternatives to Thibs and Atkinson. I’ve never hated on the people who prefer Atkinson but I do think its ridiculous to be so opposed to Thibs.

    But c’mon now Brian even you have quoted that Ringer article and are already laying the foundation for all the bitching and whining that will be insufferable to read on this site if Thibs is hired. You know I’m not one to be that extreme with my positions, well except for I think Frank sucks, so to me a choice between 2 pretty good coaches is not something that should be this polarizing. So it’s just confounding to me for some people to be so opposed to Thibs cause he apparently has no idea what TS% is since he’s not as smart as fans who talk crap on a blog and know how to Google basketball reference.

  70. Also this stuff that Thibs has no idea how to coach on offense, in his 7 full seasons as head coach twice his offense was in the Top 5 and 3 other times they were in the Top 11 in offensive rating. No he isn’t D’Antoni and his teams didn’t take that many 3pters which of course is a concern but the guy isn’t exactly clueless on the offensive end.

  71. I think Thibs is talented, but he’s not somebody I’d pick for a rebuilding team. He’s the guy you hire if you’re a decent team already and you’re struggling to take the next step and you want to bring in someone new. However, if there wasn’t anybody else worthwhile out there, I’d be fine with Thibs, as he’s certainly better than Mark Jackson and likely better than Miller, as well.

    The issue is that there is a guy out there who is perfect for the Knicks’ current situation and he just fell into their laps like manna from heaven and even you note that he’d be the better choice, so yes, if they pick Thibs over Atkinson, it will be a bad decision and I’ll be displeased. I’ll expect it, but I’ll be displeased.

    For once, I’d like to be able to say, “Wow, great hire!” instead of “Well, at least they didn’t give Mark Jackson the head coaching job” or “At least they didn’t make Allan Houston the GM.”

  72. On second thought..
    I am beginning to be really intrigued by Jerry Stackhouse. I would not be mad if he got an interview, and the job. Stack kinda feels like the ideal coach for this situation. U would actually hire him before Atkinson. Say Stack were to be offered the job…would Miller stay on with him? I would love to see that

  73. Sure, Stack would be a fine choice, as well. I’d prefer Atkinson to Stackhouse, but Stackhouse would at least be a bit of an inspired pick, so I’d be for it. I don’t think Stackhouse is interested in the NBA just yet, though. He’s only been at Vanderbilt for a season and really hasn’t been able to build the program up yet. It would look kind of shady to cut out after the first year of a rebuild when you have a six-year deal.

  74. Shit like this is what I’m talking about. You really fucking think that Tom Thibodeau, a guy who was an ast coach on teams that went to the NBA Finals 3 times and won a championship who also was head coach of a team that won 62 games in a season is not as smart as you?

    What a bizarre thing to say. I certainly did not weigh-in on Tom Thibodeau’s intelligence, nor did I compare it to mine.

    I pointed out that by taking a cursory glance at Minnesota’s underlying stats under his coaching, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that he hasn’t embraced important offensive trends, hasn’t budged from his position of “pick 5 guys to run into the ground and ignore everyone else,” and doesn’t seem to be the defensive guru his reputation suggests.

    If you disagree, the burden of proof is on you to point out why they took so few threes, why Jamal Crawford and Andrew freakin’ Wiggins had higher usage than a historical offensive talent in KAT, and why those Minnesota teams had such insane minutes distribution (and, what do you know, looked gassed in the playoffs).

    Merely pointing out that they were nominally successful is silly. I don’t think there’s a coach in the history of the NBA that couldn’t cobble together a decent team with KAT and Butler in their primes. We can’t measure Thibs’ effect with precision, but you’ll have to excuse me if I take a look at the aforementioned stats and infer that, at a bare minimum, he was not a net positive.

    all this coming from people who probably have never coached even a little league team in their lives but look at basketball reference and assume they are smarter than most NBA coaches.

    I will have you know I am a hot commodity in the Miami-Dade County middle school basketball coaching circuit, sir.

  75. The issue is that there is a guy out there who is perfect for the Knicks’ current situation and he just fell into their laps like manna from heaven and even you note that he’d be the better choice, so yes, if they pick Thibs over Atkinson, it will be a bad decision and I’ll be displeased. I’ll expect it, but I’ll be displeased.

    This.

    Like I said, Thibs probably wouldn’t be an unmitigated disaster like Mark Jackson. It’s just so obvious that Atkinson would be the superior choice I’m shocked anyone is even contesting this.

    People here regularly talk about the need to make our situation appealing to free agents. Okay, well, while I don’t place as high a priority on that as some, in three seasons Atkinson took the Nets from the absolute dregs of the league in every fashion to a team that reeled in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

    He did this by modernizing their offense and putting their young players (of which we project to have a lot, with all of our draft picks) in the best position to succeed. Doesn’t that sound nice?

    Nah, let’s hire the “ICE ICE ICE” guy with the big name instead. I’m sure his third go-around, with the New York Knicks, will end much better than his first two.

  76. *takes Rose colored glasses off (pun unintentionally intended)*
    Truth is..as bad as things have been, the Knicks are really in a great position to build something good and sustainable. Problem is in years past- impatience quickly overtook faith and logical foundation building. Clearly the motto moving forward should be “DON’T FUCK THIS UP” . They should plaster that in every exec’s office. Winning 50 games every season feels great, and the Ewing era spoiled us in that regard. But I personally have no quarrel with young and improving talent on the floor working toward that 50 win plateau. None whatsoever. I can absolutely deal with losing 50 games if it means guys like RJ, Mitch, and Ntilikina are getting closer to being more like..I dunno..Grant Hill, Tyson Chandler, and Tony Allen. Who knows? Their ceilings could be higher, I’m just trying to come up with some kind of comp to make my point- it’s not an actual expectation. Anyway..so Rose & company should not let impatience get in the way- unless Giannis or Kawhi comes aboard lol. That’s how not to fuck this up. So far, Rose has made moves that imply patience and logical foundation building.

    We shall see lol

  77. I’d love a shot at Precious Achiuwa as our 2nd 1st rounder- especially if we land a top 3 pick. Can u imagine running he and Wooten out there as the backup C and PF? But to do that we need a PF who shoots better than Randle as the starter. Oof! How can we pull that off? Would Orlando be amenable to giving us Gordon for Randle? Or a 3 team trade that sends Randle to Sacto and we get Gordon with some high dollar guy going to Orlando with one of the Dallas picks goin to Orlando as well?

  78. I don’t think Thibs would be terrible, persay, but why would a team in our position as a pathetic laughingstock with little-to-no legimitate NBA talent pick him over the development guru who has already shown the ability to help teams in our position? Not sure why this is controversial. Seems pretty clear that the tier list right now for candidates is Atkinson > Thibs > anyone else > two hundred rats in a trench coat > Mark Jackson.

  79. Jerry Stackhouse had a truly incredible career. It’s amazing how long he hung on despite how mediocre he was. Probably bodes well for his coaching career.

  80. Really psyched that Premier League is coming back in June, but it’s gonna be very weird without fans.

    But I’ll take it over zero live sports (unless you count Korean baseball)

  81. Stackhouse’s career highlight was that reverse dunk he did in a Duke-UNC game that had Dick Vitale going crazy and ESPN showing replays of that dunk for years.

    Also while I remembered him as just a scorer who averaged 20 ppg a few times I didn’t realize one season he averaged 29.8 ppg!

  82. How can we pull that off? Would Orlando be amenable to giving us Gordon for Randle? Or a 3 team trade that sends Randle to Sacto and we get Gordon with some high dollar guy going to Orlando with one of the Dallas picks goin to Orlando as well?

    Yeah…. Aaron Gordon is just what we need…. a PF with a .511 TS% 30% from 3 and 68% from the line who doesn’t rebound either….. also has a year more on his contract than Randle…. Good move pitching in a Dal #1 for this gem!!!

    If you want to make a trade with Orlando and pitch in a #1 try Mo Bamba for 30% of the salary.

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.fcgi?request=1&sum=0&player_id1_hint=Aaron+Gordon&player_id1_select=Aaron+Gordon&player_id1=gordoaa01&y1=2020&player_id2_hint=Julius+Randle&player_id2_select=Julius+Randle&y2=2020&player_id2=randlju01&idx=bbr__players&player_id3_hint=Mo+Bamba&player_id3_select=Mo+Bamba&y3=2020&player_id3=bambamo01&idx=bbr__players

  83. Good point..I just feel like Gordon’s game is a better fit with Mitch..but Randle is the better perimeter shooter..by a smidge lol. Sucks that there’s no real perimeter PF’s to trade for using Randle, unless you can stomach Love’s deal..or Blake Griffin. But dude may never be healthy again

  84. I got it…
    Trade Randle for a bag of peanuts then overpay Mook to come back? LOL
    Keep Portis, dump Randle?

    I dunno..but Mitch absolutely has to start

  85. I just feel like Gordon’s game is a better fit with Mitch

    Gordon’s game would fit very nicely into the #11 seed

  86. I’m open to trade possibilities but I think the best solution to the Randle problem will be to just let him play out this expiring year (ideally in a reduced role as to not hinder development) and then, barring drastic improvement, waive him.

    This comes with a $4M 2021-2022 cap hit so sure offload him for nothing if you can, but with how much space we have that’s just not a very big deal.

    Arguably worthwhile risk that didn’t pan out. Oh well.

  87. I’m not sure who would trade for Randle, even for essentially nothing in return.

    A tweener big who can’t defend the perimeter or shoot the three very well — but wait — he also doesn’t defend the rim and turns it over a lot?

    I don’t think there will be a line outside Rose’s door.

  88. I remember when Ewing took the Georgetown job and he had Marcus Derrickson at the starting PF. One play Derrickson took an off balanced, one legged, 20 footer. Made the shot, but in the ensuing timeout you could hear Ewing berate him:

    PE: What was that Marcus?!
    MD: That’s my shot coach..and I made it!
    PE: That’s not yo shot!
    MD: It is! I practice it..
    PE: WHEN? When do you work on a shot like that? When does a post player take a one legged 20 foot shot? That’s not your shot. We don’t take those shots!

    The exchange went something like that on live TV

    That’s who we need with Randle in tow lol

  89. Wait..no..I think he missed it, and the exchange was more like “Do you make that shot? When do you work on it?”..somethin like that

  90. Yeah, I’m not that high on Thibs over Atkinson, just think its hilarious how much people shit on Thibs like he’s this awful coach when he has a higher winning percentage as a coach than Atkinson over many more seasons and has been to 3 NBA finals as an assistant coach. Fuck, he comes from the Riley/JVG tree of coaching and that tree has plenty of fruit on it.

    And no, I don’t think the ten coaches with the ten highest win totals are the ten best coaches in NBA history. But I would bet that at least 4 or 5 of those coaches ARE the best NBA coaches ever.

    Dismissing a coach’s win-loss record completely is so foolish.

    Also, I think this is important. Mitch/Frank/RJ is the beginning of a good defensive team. Now Frank may not ultimately be here for the long haul and RJ is more defensive potential at this point that actuality, but we all agree that MITCH is most definitely a foundational piece that we want to build around and that he is all ready a good and potentially great defensive player. Thibs could be a great coach for him to take it to the next level.

    I like Atkinson. I think it would be a good hire. I’d also be totally down to just roll with Miller another season and see what happens. I think all of our young players showed improvement under Mike and I like his lowkey no nonsense approach to the game. He isn’t perfect but he’s drama free, which is good for us.

    But if Thibs is hired…it would be a good thing for us!

    Also, if the goal is to eventually attract star free agents here. Shouldn’t it be a concern that Atkinson couldn’t get along with 2 of the biggest starts in the NBA? Again, its a double standard to dismiss KAT being a diva while harping on Kyrie or KD being divas.

  91. Seems pretty clear that the tier list right now for candidates is Atkinson > Thibs > anyone else > two hundred rats in a trench coat > Mark Jackson.

    that got me smiling this morning…thanks mike :)

  92. that got me smiling this morning…thanks mike :)

    No problem Geo haha. . . I remember reading something about rats starved of restaraunt trash turning to cannibalism and infanticide, so I figured that if Mark Jackson was a plausible candidate, a bunch of starving rats in a trench coat would probably also be desperate enough to try and coach the Knicks.

  93. By the way…here are some of the people listed in the top ten of NBA coaches of all time (based on winning percentages, not win totals).

    Steve Kerr – well, his career has been short, but highest win percentage and 3 NBA titles. I’d say he’s one of the best.

    Phil Jackson – second highest winning percentage and 9 NBA titles. Sure, he had some pretty great players to work with. But he’s one of the best.

    Billy Cunningham – 76ers – late 70s to mid 80s. Only one title. I don’t know much about him.

    Greg Popovich – 5 NBA titles, 4th highest win percentage. I’d say he’s one of the best, no?

    KC Jones – Celtics coach in the 80s. I can’t really say if he was actually good or not.

    Red Auerbach – I mean, he’s from way back in the day and his style wouldn’t work today but if you try to say he isn’t one of the greatest coaches ever, you are wrong.

    Pat Riley – man, he really sucks, doesn’t he?

    Then you have Lester Harrison, Tom Heinshohn and Mike Brown. Can’t speak for the first two but Mike Brown definitely doesn’t belong in the greatest coaches of all time list (maybe Lebron does?)

    But then after that you have Jerry Sloan, Chuck Daly and Erick Spoelstra. I’d say they’re all pretty good, no?

    So yes, the top 10 to 15 coaches as far as winning percentage goes are most likely the top 10 to 15 coaches of all time. Funny how that works.

  94. ***Yeah, no thanks to Mark Jackson. I think we are all in agreement there.***

    The Greek Chorus here is really pathetic. Mark Jackson will make the Knicks great again. He taught Charlie Ward everything there is to know about bringing religion to center court.

  95. I was bored so made a long list of the coaches, in order, that I’d like to see get the Knicks job. I won’t bore you with the whole list, so I’ll just do the top three and the last one:

    #1 Atkinson
    #2 Thibs
    #3 Miller
    #911 Mark Jackson

  96. Swift, you say in your own post that you don’t know enough to comment on about like half the guys you listed. Not exactly an inspiring argument. Also, I don’t think the opposing argument is that all coaches in the top 15 are terrible, but rather that being in the top 15 (or whatever arbitrary number you pick) is not a guarantee of excellent coaching (see: Brown, Mike). Of course many of the best coaches are going to be on the list, but that doesn’t mean that being on the list is in and of itself proof of coaching excellence, which is a nebulous and difficult to measure concept as it is.

  97. I never said it was. But my point is that if a coach has a winning record over the course of his career, especially if its more than a few seasons, the chances are he’s a good coach. Is it guaranteed? No, but it definitely shouldn’t be dismissed. That was the original comment I was responding to. The idea that just because they’re in the top ten doesn’t mean they’re one of the 10 best coaches. But if you look at the top 10 to 15 on that list, you can pretty safely say at least half of them are the best coaches of all time. So a coach’s record should count for something. Its weird to dismiss that stat out of convenience when you personally don’t like that coach’s style or whatever.

    Mike Brown is the obvious one from our lifetime that can be dismissed because of Lebron. But Pop, Sloan, Spoelstra, Riley, Phil, Kerr…are we really saying “well just because they have winning records over 5 or more seasons doesn’t mean they’re any good.”

    Also, I intentionally left off Thibs who falls right after Spo and Sloan as far as winning percentage.

    I did winning percentage bc there are dudes like Don Nelson who won a ton of games simply because they coached for like 30 years.

  98. I never said it was. But my point is that if a coach has a winning record over the course of his career, especially if its more than a few seasons, the chances are he’s a good coach.

    Bold case for hiring Vinny Del Negro! Can’t say I agree, but respect the opinion.

    In all seriousness, obviously, many of the best coaches will in fact have strong records/winning percentages. It does not logically follow that having a good record/winning percentage necessarily makes you a good coach, as you are basically arguing in the case of Thibodeau.

    For someone who regularly rails against the alleged overuse of metrics, you’re being shockingly formulaic here. Context matters a lot! “We should ignore this guy’s glaring flaws because he has a good winning percentage” is a very bad argument.

  99. But Pop, Sloan, Spoelstra, Riley, Phil, Kerr…are we really saying “well just because they have winning records over 5 or more seasons doesn’t mean they’re any good.”

    This is so easy man. Those guys aren’t good coaches solely because of their records, they’re good coaches because when you look at their individual contexts, it’s pretty clear they were net positives (at least the non-Sloan ones anyway, can’t say I know enough about him to make that determination).

    I mean the Warriors improved by 15 wins with basically the same roster by switching from Mark Jackson to Kerr. Their shot distribution changed dramatically for the better. That’s how I know he’s a good coach, not because he won lots of games coaching a team with Stephen Curry et al.

  100. I remember reading something about rats starved of restaraunt trash turning to cannibalism and infanticide

    my favorite nyc rat story…back in the mid 8o’s i used to like to come down from school and stay at the soldiers and sailors club over on lexington…

    like 3 or 4 am one sunday morning was walking back from the funhouse over on 11th with a buddy of mine…always loved the city in the early morning, it was like you had the whole place to yourself…about halfway from the club to the hotel walking up either 5th or 6th and saw this huge rat (i swear, it had to be like 10 plus pounds) crawl out from between some grate in the street…

    it wasn’t so much the sight of the rat, but, just how huge it was and its ability to squeeze through the bars in the grate…it just dispelled any reason for being able to get its huge body through those relatively narrow spaces between the bars of the sewer grate…

  101. thenoblefacehumper: This is so easy man. Those guys aren’t good coaches solely because of their records, they’re good coaches because when you look at their individual contexts, it’s pretty clear they were net positives (at least the non-Sloan ones anyway, can’t say I know enough about him to make that determination).

    I mean the Warriors improved by 15 wins with basically the same roster by switching from Mark Jackson to Kerr. Their shot distribution changed dramatically for the better. That’s how I know he’s a good coach, not because he won lots of games coaching a team with Stephen Curry et al.

    The Bulls improved by 21 wins by replacing Del Negro with Thibs :-)

    Sorry just had to tease you with that fact TNFH, all in good fun. Looking at those rosters Noah-Rose-Deng were basically the big 3 for both teams but when Thibs came Boozer and Korver joined too while Hinrich, Salmons, Brad Miller and Tyrus Thomas left. That 62 win Bulls team really wasn’t as deep as I remembered, Jimmy Butler wasn’t there yet and Kurt Thomas(!) actually started 37 games cause Boozer missed a bunch of games. Now that I look at them dunno how the hell they won 62 games.

  102. The Bulls improved by 21 wins by replacing Del Negro with Thibs :-)

    Sorry just had to tease you with that fact TNFH, all in good fun.

    Del Negro’s Bulls outperformed their pythagorean record by 5 games. Thibs’ Bulls outperformed it by 1.

    These are equally meaningless facts (unless you want to attribute Derrick Rose going from a league average-ish guard in his second season to an MVP candidate in his third to Thibs) but just teasing ya back.

    Like I said, this isn’t a hugely consequential decision. I’d take Thibs + good roster decisions over Atkinson + less good roster decisions 100% of the time. There’s just such an obviously better alternative to Thibs in this case!

  103. As part of the anti-Thibs group I’m happy to acknowledge that his overall record is really good. From the beginning I’ve been saying that I think he was an excellent coach in Boston and Chicago – I think he basically cracked the code on NBA defense during that period. I tend to agree that most coaches are only making a difference at the margin but if you get someone who is successfully innovating strategically I do think you can find yourself in a situation where a coach is a legitimate difference maker. Thibs was that for a time.

    However, the league has been evolving dramatically over the last decade. In 2010-2011, his coach of the year season, the median team attempted 17.7 3s per game. This year it was 33.5 and every team averaged at least 27.5. That’s an extreme change in the way teams play offense and consequently things that worked defensively even ten years ago may not work now. Thibs built his entire defensive system around overloading the strong side and protecting the rim at all costs. However those costs are a lot higher than they used to be. It’s possible he’s capable of adapting but he was extremely rigid about sticking by that system in Minnesota despite its failures.

    I’m not saying he’s an awful coach now or anything like that, just that I think there’s real reasons to focus more on his Minnesota tenure than what came before it, and that part of his resume is pretty shaky.

  104. I’m not saying he’s an awful coach now or anything like that, just that I think there’s real reasons to focus more on his Minnesota tenure than what came before it, and that part of his resume is pretty shaky.

    Excellent post all around. I should clarify that I do think Thibs was a good coach in Boston and Chicago for the reasons you outlined. If I thought he would adjust to the relevant trends I’d thus be happy to have him. As you said, the Minnesota tenure is a strong data point in favor of him not doing so.

  105. No one seems to be considering the possibility that Rose ends the “build via draft” phase after this year’s pick. I think it’s fairly likely he’s going to start adding veteran talent via free agency and cashing in some of that young talent and those excess picks in trades. I’d venture to guess the only untouchables are Robinson and Barrett. Ntilikina, Knox, the Clipper’s pick, the 2 Dallas picks, and even some of our future 1st rounders are all assets that can be used to create a mix of young and veteran talent that can make the playoffs next year and still have years of upside. That’s a Thibs team.

  106. Excuse me for being skeptical but i have 2 questions.

    1. Why is Mark Jackson considered SO bad ?
    And
    2. Why is Atkinson considered SO good ?

  107. Shooting a lot of 3 pointers is only smart basketball if you have good 3 point shooters.

    What good is some guy that shoots 3s at 30% clip if you can run plays that get you reasonably close to 45% on “high quality” mid range shots and draw some fouls while you are at it?

    The whole point of the 3 point revolution was to avoid the very inefficient longer and tougher 2 pointers. It was not to just shoot more 3s.

    The T-Wolves didn’t have the right players to shoot a lot of 3s. If they shot of lot of 3s, it would have been bad coaching. Give Thibs a team of sharp shooters and if they still aren’t shooting 3s then you have a legitimate reason to argue he doesn’t understand the modern game.

    He has spoken about the efficiency of corner 3s loads of times. He understand the basic arithmetic. He just hasn’t had the right players. He was maximizing the efficiency of the team he had.

  108. “1. Why is Mark Jackson considered SO bad ?”

    Because he’s a hypocrite, holds religious views on sexuality, had trouble getting along within the Warrior’s organization, and is not nearly as good a coach as Steve Kerr (very few are).

    In some people’s eyes, that automatically disqualifies him even if he had quite a bit of success developing young players and teaching them to play defense.

    “2. Why is Atkinson considered SO good ?”

    Because he has also had some success developing young players, is not a hypocrite, and hasn’t expressed any views on religion or sexuality. He’s also not nearly as good as Steve Kerr and had trouble getting along with star players, but that’s not held against him because of the other stuff.

    That’s the bottom line. A lot of people don’t like Mark Jackson for non basketball related reasons and he’s not a good enough coach to get a pass.

  109. No one seems to be considering the possibility that Rose ends the “build via draft” phase after this year’s pick.

    Even if he did, there’s no way that they have enough assets to acquire enough players to be a good team in year one (they have one above average player and one other good prospect, plus hopefully whoever they draft), so it would still be a waste of Thibs (Everyone plays 36 minutes a game on the march to 10th in the East).

    Mills and Perry also tried to end the “build via the draft” phase after RJ Barrett and it was terrible.

  110. The T-Wolves didn’t have the right players to shoot a lot of 3s. If they shot of lot of 3s, it would have been bad coaching. Give Thibs a team of sharp shooters and if they still aren’t shooting 3s then you have a legitimate reason to argue he doesn’t understand the modern game.

    Their team 3PT% was ,357, 19th in the league, and would’ve been better if not for Thibs’ own decisions regarding playing time.

    Not great, but you’re telling me that’s bad enough to justify being dead last in the league?

    Take 40%+ 3PT shooter Karl Anthony-Towns: he took 3.5 3PA/36 under Thibs, and took 8.4 3PA/36 this past season with a negligible 3PT% drop off. His TS% stayed the same, but that’s just because of a FT% drop off. He’s clearly being deployed more effectively now.

  111. I remember when Thibs was the Bulls coach one of the things mentioned about his defensive system was not allowing corner 3pters. Now I don’t know if they were actually good at limiting corner 3pters, dont know if there are synergy stats back then for stuff like that, but I do know that 62 win season the Bulls were 1st in opponent 3pt% and 1st in fewest 3pters made while allowing the 4th fewest 3pt attempts. So obviously those Bulls teams knew the importance of defending the 3pter but as mentioned above it is one thing to defend 17 3pters a game compared to 30 per game nowadays.

  112. How legit is it that supposedly Atkinson does not get along with vets? As in Kyrie Irving and Durant?

    I’ll be fine if the Knicks hire Thibs, but I’d prefer Atkinson. He seemed to do well with a young roster until the egomaniacs arrived.
    :-)

  113. It’s hard to take Kyrie Irving criticism seriously. I’d take Durant criticism more seriously, except he hasn’t actually played for Atkinson! So what the fuck is his problem? Heck, Kyrie has barely even played for Atkinson and they were still a playoff team without either of them.

    But again, if the Knicks end up with a superstar and he wants Atkinson out, I’ll call him a cab right away. ;)

  114. Oh true, I mean a legit one. If the Brow says he’ll come to New York, but only if they bounce Atkinson, then I’d kill Kenny (I know, I’m a bastard).

  115. Brian Cronin:
    Oh true, I mean a legit one. If the Brow says he’ll come to New York, but only if they bounce Atkinson, then I’d kill Kenny (I know, I’m a bastard).

    I can only think of South Park right now.

  116. Now I have South Park on the brain. I’ll never look at Atkinson the same way again

    On a serious note, I recall the atkinson was reputed to be good with developing players but got some criticism for out of timeout plays and stuff like that.

  117. Sounds like all the plans still in contention to resume the NBA season would not involve the Knicks. Which means we finish sixth in the lottery standings. (Assuming they don’t tweak the lottery in some way.)

    The Knicks-iest thing would have been for the team to come back for meaningless games and Mitch to blow out his knee due to being out of shape, so I’m fine with them sitting things out.

  118. We are in true offseason mode

    bet you ain’t got no cool rodent related stories to share…

    actually, you know – i partly blame you, bruno and everyone else here for my relatively recent interest in world events – and, tuning in to the news, cuz, i’m way too lazy for primary resources…although, i guess a video recording could be considered primary…the thought of consuming hundreds of pages of non-fiction detailing in depth just how degraded some of my fellow human beings are seems completely demoralizing…reality, live and in color…

  119. ***those Bulls teams knew the importance of defending the 3pter.***

    So either Thibs knew the importance of defending 3pters but couldn’t correlate it to an importance of taking 3pters on the other side of the court, or there were other factors at play such as personnel, personalities, and politics. Hmm…

  120. cuz, i’m way too lazy for primary resources

    lemme stop you there, uncle geo

  121. It’s a player’s league, better to build a team and then hire a coach whose style fits the team. With the current mix of players, Miller is fine…and may actually turn out to be good. In any case, he can be replaced at the drop of a hat when the right coach/team match comes along without negative press. As to Thibs, we went down this road with D’Antoni. When you hire a name coach, everything becomes about putting together a team that fits the coach, rather than the coach fitting to the team. The first thing D’Antoni did was bench Stephon in favor of Chris Duhon. It wasn’t an illogical move per se but it spoke to a system-above-players mindset.

    Let’s at least see how this draft and free agency goes before committing to a name. If you’re going to make a change for change’s sake, just go with Atkinson and then fire him if he’s not the right guy when the team gets better. Thibs is too much of a lightning rod.

  122. We’re just talking about the next coach who’ll be fired two and a half years in, having inherited a dogshit roster full of “upside” with no viable path to even an 8 seed, nevermind actual contention. It’s fucking irrelevant.

  123. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    We’re just talking about the next coach who’ll be fired two and a half years in, having inherited a dogshit roster full of “upside” with no viable path to even an 8 seed, nevermind actual contention. It’s fucking irrelevant.

    Totally agree, why bother making a change unless the roster improves? Why set up a “name” guy for failure, like we did over and over again during the last 20 years?

  124. I mean it’s kind of like discussing which flavor of failure you prefer. Butter pecan, or pistachio? Either way it’s still failure. Sorry to be on Team Pessimist but until this team shows me something I’m going to assume it’s 29 wins per year for the rest of eternity.

  125. “Mills and Perry also tried to end the “build via the draft” phase after RJ Barrett and it was terrible.”

    Mills and Perry are wildly incompetent basketball people that were only in their position because Mills is great at corporate politics, using the media, and collecting paychecks from a dumb owner for himself and friends.

    We don’t know that about Rose and the people he’s been bringing in yet.

  126. “Their team 3PT% was ,357, 19th in the league, and would’ve been better if not for Thibs’ own decisions regarding playing time.”

    I’m not a scout that watched all the T-Wolves games, but a good coach would not be against taking all 3s. He would evaluate his talent and realize that even below average 3 point shooters occasionally get good enough opportunities to take them given the location and that player’s preference. In those case they would be encouraged and the efficiency would be fine.

  127. It’s hard to defend Thibs’ coaching in Minny. If anyone wants to believe that if he inherited Houston’s roster he’d adapt and let them shoot 50 3’s a game and letting Harden play no d, go right on ahead.

  128. JK47:
    I mean it’s kind of like discussing which flavor of failure you prefer. Butter pecan, or pistachio? Either way it’s still failure. Sorry to be on Team Pessimist but until this team shows me something I’m going to assume it’s 29 wins per year for the rest of eternity.

    In this case, the answer is always pistachio — especially if its from Saffron & Rose.

  129. Mills and Perry are wildly incompetent basketball people that were only in their position because Mills is great at corporate politics, using the media, and collecting paychecks from a dumb owner for himself and friends.

    We don’t know that about Rose and the people he’s been bringing in yet.

    Perry is literally in the same position he was in during Mills’ tenure. So, if he’s a wildly incompetent basketball person, then that already says something about the people Rose is bringing in, no?

  130. Perry is a placeholder with little real authority. He’s a well-respected guy in basketball circles, so no harm in keeping him around until the right guy comes along.

  131. It would be nice tho to have the parallel universe option and see How Many decades it would take to Perry/Mills to make the Knicks contenders and also How !

  132. Sound like Thibs may be in the drivers seat. According to a report, he’s already making feeler calls to assemble a staff. If true, the Knicks will finally have a competent coach with a winning history, deep playoff experience as both an assistant and head coach, and a focus on defense. Score one for Rose. That makes it 1-1. Keeping Perry was a mistake, but this is a very good move. The rest of his management team we can evaluate over time.

  133. “Perry is literally in the same position he was in during Mills’ tenure. So, if he’s a wildly incompetent basketball person, then that already says something about the people Rose is bringing in, no?”

    See my prior post.

    I think Perry is terrible. I can’t evaluate the rest of the management team, but poaching from Utah and OKC is more encouraging that poaching from losing organizations. Hopefully Perry will be out after this year.

  134. Sound like Thibs may be in the drivers seat. According to a report, he’s already making feeler calls to assemble a staff. If true, the Knicks will finally have a competent coach with a winning history, deep playoff experience as both an assistant and head coach, and a focus on defense.

    Honestly, we already have a competent coach (Miller). I’m not convinced Thibs is better, but changing coaches is one of the things new front offices do, Thibs is a competent coach too. I’m not sure why you say now we will have a focus on defense. True, that’s Thibs’ reputation, but his Minnesota defenses were bad, while the Knicks defense last year was something like 21st, and much better than the Knick’s offense

  135. ***Sound like Thibs may be in the drivers seat…If true, the Knicks will finally have a competent coach with a winning history, deep playoff experience as both an assistant and head coach***

    “What could possibly go wrong?” -Larry Brown, 2005

  136. I was thinking of Wilkins the other day, as he was the all-time winningest coach in NBA history when the Knicks hired him, right?

  137. And Brown had just won his ring, and got narrowly Horryed out of another!

    PLAYERS WIN AND LOSE BASKETBALL GAMES

  138. I think it’s more a statement that past success doesn’t necessarily have a connection with coaching a rebuilding team. In other words, Larry Brown had literally just coached a team to a title and then he came here and it was a terrible fit because the team was really bad and he still coached like a guy who was trying to win every game. And then they tried to do “win now” moves to match Brown and the win now moves were terrible.

    Think about it – would the Knicks have traded Trevor Ariza for Steve Francis if they were just trying to develop their young players? No, right? “Win now” moves when you’re not winning now are terrible and they’re often driven (in part, at least. Obviously the GM has to be agreeable) by a coach who is used to winning and wants to win as soon as possible, whatever the cost. Unlike a developmental guy, who will have some patience.

    For once, they should try hiring a developmental coach while they are a bad team. It would be a nice twist.

  139. That said, it is very fair to say that Thibs isn’t Mark Jackson, so I’m happy about that part.

  140. Let’s say that Popovich, Rivers and Atkinson were all available right now and wanted to join the Knicks (Extreme Fantasy)
    Would you still go with the developmental guru ?

    My point is:
    Do we prefer developmental coach or we re just not fully convinced that Thibs can be better than Atkinson’s projected career?

  141. Knew Your Nicks:
    Let’s say that Popovich, Rivers and Atkinson were all available right now and wanted to join the Knicks (Extreme Fantasy)
    Would you still go with the developmental guru ?

    My point is:
    Do we prefer developmental coach or we re just not fully convinced that Thibs can be better than Atkinson’s projected career?

    The fantasy scenario is not comparable. So I guess it’s more about Thibs for me. Pop and Rivers both could develop young players and be a draw for FAs.

  142. All a coach does is add or subtract value to the players he is given. His record is a function of the players he is given plus the value he adds or subtracts.

    These are some of the questions to ask

    1. is he using his players correctly and effectively given their skills
    2. do the lineups make sense
    3. are the players responding to him and playing hard for him
    4. are the players fit
    5. are the players prepared for a variety of circumstances against different teams and matchups
    6. is the team running good plays out of timeouts
    7. is the team making successful adjustments to the game plan if the original plan isn’t working
    8. does it seem like the the advance scouting and game plans make sense
    9. are the young players getting better

    Some people may not like aspects of Thibs coaching style

    Some people may want to continue building out of the draft and developing young players so they prefer Atkinson

    However, anyone saying Thibs is not a very good coach is wrong. We should thank God he may be willing to coach for Dolan and the Knicks. If we hire him, he’ll get more out our players than anyone else available.

  143. I will concede that Thibs is at least a “good” coach, and possibly the best one available in terms of some things on your list.

    However, there are definitely red flags with him. He has not coached successfully in the modern NBA yet, he had difficulties with management, he runs players into the ground, and he grates on young players who don’t buy into his balls-to-the-floor defensive style. He values defense over shooting/scoring. He will coach in a win-now way at the risk of injury to his players or alienation of management. Or he might simply be the right guy at the wrong time.

    I won’t be bummed if he’s hired, just increasingly concerned about the front office’s priorities. But yeah, he has the potential to be the best coach we’ve had in years, there’s no disputing that.

  144. And yes, I would prefer that we continue to attempt to build via the draft and minor FA acquisitions/trades for at least another year, and hire a developmental coach or just stick with Miller for another year. If another team wants Thibs, they can have him. My guess is that he will be available next year as well. He’s not exactly a hot commodity out there.

  145. The Knicks should not hire Tom Thibodeaux before they interview a minority candidate. I want to see David Vanterpool get a chance after the job he’s done with CJ McCollum and Dame Lillard. Let’s get Ime Udoka an interview, Becky Hammon, or hell even give Mark Jackson an interview.

    I’m not a proponent of the Rooney Rule, but I absolutely think we would be shortchanging qualified minority minds for the job if they can’t even get an interview.

  146. What I don’t understand is why there are no rumors about who the Nets are considering for coach. You would think Thibodeau would be on their list but this never comes up in articles about Thibodeau as a possible coach for the Knicks. The only thing I can think of is the Nets are expecting Mike D’Antoni to be available and to want to coach for them. He would be a good fit and, if there is some gentleman’s agreement in place, it would explain why they parted ways with Atkinson.

  147. If there’s a perfect fit for the Nets that’s Tyronn Lue.
    Or even Tyronn Lue’s cardboard replica now with the covid situation.

  148. The Nets are probably inching towards becoming a star-ran organization with the firing of Kenny Atkinson and the benching of Jarrett Allen for DeAndre Jordan. I think all signs point to Tyron Lue for the Nets job.

    I do wanna stray away from coaching though. I think we should be paying more attention to Devin Vassell out of FSU. He’s a plug-and-play 3&D type who has a ton of offensive potential. I know a lot of the discussion has been point-guard centric, but I’m more focused on getting shooting and defense on this team. Vassell’s shooting numbers check out (over 50% from 2 and over 40% from 3), his defensive counting stats are good, he has a prototypical wingspan, and the tape checks out on him too. Talks here are centered around Halliburton vs Hayes vs Ball, but I think Vassell might be the drafts best two-way player and has a top 3 ceiling in the draft class. I also think he has the most natural fit in this class between RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson, so he’s my guy. Ideally we can get him with our pick and hopefully Vernon Carey is available with the Clippers pick.

  149. All a coach does is add or subtract value to the players he is given. His record is a function of the players he is given plus the value he adds or subtracts

    nice try eliza but i can see your 1s and 0s. tawdry!

    keep plugging,

    alan

  150. Iiterally put down Cryptonomicon to receive the latest ptmilo offering and this is the gift I get

  151. i like vassell too but you have to be careful about 3pt %…. his ft% sort of lines up with a guy who’s probably not going to be a 40% 3pt shooter… he might be ok….

    his offensive game is a bit limited so i don’t know much about his offensive upside but he is a solid prospect…. his teammate patrick williams is another to watch and i have them both in my top 10…

  152. here is my cryptonomicon review:

    i really, really liked the first two thirds of it, even though his theory of money motifs don’t get me out of bed in the morning.

    also i just read dfw book on the history of infinity. i got a
    little worried when the neal stephenson intro seemed more like a defense of booby knight’s boorish table manners than anything particularly encouraging about the psychedelic sideways 8 lectures that lay ahead. and then i read it and understood why. feels heretical to write so need to add maybe i just wasn’t up to it.

  153. Tyrone Lue seems to be a favorite among a certain “star” NBA players. He’s like a “pal’ and to a large extent lets them play the way they want. He’ll probably wind up with the Nets where Durant and Irving will be dictating how the offense is run.

    Thibs seems to do better with players that respond to a more hard working and disciplined voice pushing them to get better, telling them how to play, and punishing them if they go soft or ease up by benching them, That’s why guys like Butler and Gibson love him and Noah and Rose don’t seem to say anything bad about him. They are all tough hard workers on the court. He won’t get along with soft, spoiled, or lazy players.

    I don’t think we have any issue with that. One thing we seem to have done well is draft guys that like to work hard. They just haven’t been very good players or developed much yet.

  154. What happens with Ntilikina and Knox?

    Rose has no draft ties to Ntilikina and Knox. He can be objective about whether they fit his vision for the team long term or not. If the stories of prioritizing a penetrating, scoring, outside shooting PG are true (not sure how Ball fits into that since he’s a bad shooter), then he will probably move on from Ntilikina. Ntilikina is going to be a high quality role player for some team, but not on the team it appears the Knicks want to build.

    He may give Knox one more year because of the ties to Perry and Calipari.

    I wish he’d talk to the media so we could get a read on his views about trading draft picks and adding veterans.

  155. I’m really not into “vision” and hope that Rose doesn’t have a particular way he thinks the team should play. He should be more like a good coach and take advantage of what his players are good at.

  156. djphan:
    i like vassell too but you have to be careful about 3pt %…. his ft% sort of lines up with a guy who’s probably not going to be a 40% 3pt shooter… he might be ok….

    his offensive game is a bit limited so i don’t know much about his offensive upside but he is a solid prospect…. his teammate patrick williams is another to watch and i have them both in my top 10…

    I’m optimistic about Vassell’s offensive game because he makes quick decisions with the ball and can shoot both off the catch and off the bounce. I don’t think he’ll ever be a guy you run a half court offense through, but I do believe he’s the type of player who would fit on any team in any offense. The 40% from 3PT range I agree is a little noisy, but between the 3s (106 3PA on the year) and the free throws (65 FTA on the year) you can argue either way because the sample size is relatively small. Either way it’s inconclusive and I’m using his shooting form in tandem with the numbers to make a judgment on if he’s a good shooter or not.

    I just want to see Mitch, Vassell, Barrett, and Ntilikina play defense together under a good head coach, and then if we suck I’d take Cade Cunningham over any of the point guards in this class so it works out for us any way.

  157. I didn’t know much about Vassell until I started reading some mock draft write ups on him, looks like a Top 10 pick worth looking at if the Knicks are picking 7-9 and Haliburton is gone. Might come down to Hayes or Vassell as the best guard available when the Knicks pick?

  158. There’s some debate about whether Kareem is the greatest basketball player ever, but if you factor in post-basketball social impact, he is the GOAT.

  159. I was just bemoaning the other day that he was falling out of the public consciousness a bit and he came out with that amazing op-ed. Well done by him.

  160. speaking of books, wtf is up with winds of winter…hopefully martin hasn’t moved away from his desk much the last few months…

    I’ve read and listened to each book at least three times…hell if I can barely remember all the different POV storylines at this point…much like i delude myself with the knicks, I believe he’s also finishing up a a dream of spring at the same time as wow…

    thought the last dance was okay, beyond the fact I hated the bulls, and was never a big jordan fan – i only thought the doc itself was okay…

    the oj one is still the best to date for me…

    saw the second part of the lance doc – absolutely loved it…

    can’t wait for the bruce lee doc next week…

  161. Speaking of documentaries, I caught a few minutes of the Epstein one and Stratomatic’s favorite primary source comes across as a real shitbag. But, then again, I guess that’s why Strat is (was) wrong about everything. Alas.

  162. “There’s some debate about whether Kareem is the greatest basketball player ever, but if you factor in post-basketball social impact, he is the GOAT.”

    Hey…. Jabbar made his bones in that area when he was still at UCLA in 1968 when Ali refused induction into the Army during Viet Nam.

    There is a famous picture somewhere of him sitting at a dais with Ali, Bill Russell, and Jim Brown at a press conference after Ali was arrested.

    Pretty big set of balls for a guy with no money at the time…. but principles should be principles regardless. Kudos Big Fella!

  163. Speaking of Jabbar I’ve always wondered why a guy like Porzingis never said to Jabbar, “here’s $500,000… come up here for a month and teach me the mechanics and the footwork of the skyhook.”

    But bazingis would rather work on his cross-over dribble………

    If he had any inside threat like that you could never play him with a small and THEN he could take the big away from the basket sometime to open up the inside for Luka et. al.

  164. “I’m really not into “vision” and hope that Rose doesn’t have a particular way he thinks the team should play. He should be more like a good coach and take advantage of what his players are good at.”

    There are a lot of ways to play basketball successfully. However, if the reports are true, the Knicks are looking to copy the formula used by most teams. They want a penetrating scoring PG that can shoot to run a lot of pick and roll. Ntilikina has no job on a team like that. He’s not that kind of PG and doesn’t shoot well enough to be a spacer. However, there are teams where he’d fit and be a good addition as a PG stopper that mucks up offenses like ours for the next decade. haha

    I’m not sure how much value he has, but a few of the smarter and more patient teams would probably still be interested in him as part of a package that sends the Knicks a shooter or something else they need.

  165. “Speaking of Jabbar I’ve always wondered why a guy like Porzingis never said to Jabbar, “here’s $500,000… come up here for a month and teach me the mechanics and the footwork of the skyhook.”

    I’ve been asking that for decades about a lot of players.

  166. The jury is still out on Ntilikina’s shooting in the context of being a 3-and-D wing. However, it has rendered a unanimous verdict on his future as a full-time PG.

  167. bobneptune:
    Speaking of Jabbar I’ve always wondered why a guy like Porzingis never said to Jabbar, “here’s $500,000… come up here for a month and teach me the mechanics and the footwork of the skyhook.”

    How about tutoring MitchRob? Bringing Kareem home to NYC worth major karma points.

  168. RLJ, those reports could be right, I wasn’t disputing their veracity. I was just expressing my distaste for fore ordaining a particular style of play.

    I’m especially unhappy if that management wish is real because, a: our current team is completely unsuited to that style of play and b: the players needed for that style of play are the most valued players on the market. So we will have to completely retool the team and be buying high on the players needed to do it. As you said, the smarter and more patient teams could be interested in Ntilikina. If we are planning to get rid of him you have to wonder about our new management’s smarts and/or patience.

  169. Dear Leon Rose,

    Trade Randle. He’s a good player on the wrong team. Bring in Gallinari. He’s a better player that would fit perfectly at PF on this team. Word is he wants a multi year contract but wants to end his career in Italy. Multi year in this context means 2 years or at most 3 years. That fine. Fans would love the move. Gallinari would be happy to be back in NY instead of OKC and it would be our first move towards not being cellar dwellers for another 3 years while RJ tries to learn how to shoot and Robinson tries to become a complete player that can stay on the court.

    I’m still scouring the landscape for a SG and PG that can shoot.

  170. Kareem’s offensive repertoire for half-court sets included skyhooks, turn-around jumpers and one handed shots. He was so practiced at Sky Hooks that he could make them well north of 50% of the time. Based on the numbers, what Kareem did not do was capture offensive rebounds in proportion to the rest of his game – averaging only 2.4 offensive boards per game for his career. This was much lower than most Hall of Fame centers (Moses Malone averaged 5.1). Similar to Patrick Ewing (2.3), Kareem’s shooting momentum took him away from the basket which would affect his offensive rebound numbers. Kareem and Patrick averaged above 50% from the field so the trade-off was probably worth it. Considering the lousy shooting that his Knicks teammates perpetrate each game, MitchRob should add offensive skills like the Sky Hook and increase his workload. Any evolution in his offensive game added to his slams and putbacks is more welcome than our current inefficient scoring options.

  171. “As you said, the smarter and more patient teams could be interested in Ntilikina. If we are planning to get rid of him you have to wonder about our new management’s smarts and/or patience.”

    I’ve expressed my view.

    IMO Perry is incompetent as an evaluator of talent and team building, but I’m reserving judgement on Rose and his new hires until I see what they do. All the newspapers keep saying a shooting and scoring PG is the priority. Assuming that’s true, I don’t see why they are enamored with Ball or Cole Anthony. They need a stretch PF and SG also.

  172. Although a RFA…Bogdonavic on Sacto would be a positive addition…just needs some coaching on shot selection

  173. I love Robinson as is, but anything he adds to his game at some reasonable threshold of effectiveness may help his teammates and the team’s overall efficiency more than it lowers his own. He has a chance to become a star player instead of very high quality role player.

  174. I’m still scouring the landscape for a SG and PG that can shoot.

    This is exactly the difficulty with Rose’s strategy. Such players are not easy to find. We’d be better off being patient, looking for good players in the draft and waiting for good trade opportunities to come along. I know I’m sounding Strat like in this, but he was right this is a good way of team building.

  175. I’m not opposed to trading Randle if we can not have to take on garbage back or even can get something back in return like a draft pick and I do like the fit of Gallo as a stretch 4 next to Mitch and RJ better than Randle.

    But a few things to consider. Gallo has had a lot of injuries in his career. If you sign him, you can’t reliably guarantee he will start most of the season. Maybe he’s past that injury stretch of his career. That does happen where a player can have a rough stretch of injuries and then work past it and be fine. But its a risk with him for sure.

    And I don’t think we should just dump Randle for the sake of dumping him. Its one more guaranteed season with him. That’s not hard to stomach. And we keep doing this thing where we sign decent, young players and then ask them to play a larger role than they are capable of and then get mad at them and think they suck when they can’t live up to that role (see Tim Hardaway Jr. as the most recent example).

    If we can improve our outside shooting either through the draft or free agency or trades or internally with RJ and Frank improving, that mitigates a lot of the problems with Randle playing. He played more under control and more efficiently under Miller than under Fizdale. I mean, he did have his games under Miller where he reverted to bad habits but in general his worst play came under Fizdale. A better shooting PG would help A LOT too. Despite all of his flaws, he’s still pretty young and averaged 20 and 10 this year. Those guys don’t grow on trees. With some improved team play and outside shooting, Randle could be a decent trade chip at the deadline.

    I just think the rotating chairs of players every off season has to be slowed down to some degree if we are to ever build a winning team. Randle wasn’t THAT bad this year and I think he got an unfair portion of the blame for things not going well. Again, under Miller we were trending up. Lets not forget that.

  176. Is that true…Bruce Lee 30 for 30? I’m all over that….

    howdy pepper…hope all is well in the world for you…yes sir…our very own comic book resources has a preview on the upcoming show: “Be Water”

  177. howzit goin Geo…all good here….

    I studied with a guy in NYC for about 10 years…he developed his own system…50% Jeet Kune Do and 50% traditional 5 animal shaolin…alot of what we did was based on Bruce’s stuff…

  178. Swiftandabundants point is another example of what’s bad about Rose’s reputed strategy. Randle is our best scorer, but not a good three point shooter. He’s reasonably young and paid a reasonable salary for a twenty and ten guy. But the reputed strategy seems to mean we should ditch him and play a more Rockets or Golden State style. We will get pennies on the dollar for Randle. It’s better to find a way to build a more balanced team around him.

  179. Hey! I just saw that bref released a bunch of new stats today! It’s 6 different shooting stats compared to league average, FTr+, 3PAr+, and two additional stats called FG ADD and TS ADD which I’m not entirely sure what they are. Pretty exciting and I’ve been messing around with for the past 20 minutes. Just don’t look at any Knicks except for Mitchell Robinson.

  180. I will reiterate my view that anyone fretting about a well-run team swooping in and stealing Frank Ntilikina out from under us need not lose any sleep over the matter

  181. We will get pennies on the dollar for Randle. It’s better to find a way to build a more balanced team around him.

    i don’t think you can build around julius at all…he’s a solid backup power forward/center – but, as a starter, offensive focal point, heck no…

    I would much rather feed mitch down low and let him develop than have julius receive the ball outside the paint and try to twist and twirl his way to the rim…

    julius this year drove me only a little less crazy than what he did to clyde…i really liked him when he played for LA…but, that was him imitating a lot of the offense from off the bench…i thought it looked at times during the season that he was trying to do way too much out there…the pressure of being “the guy” didn’t seem to fit him too well…

  182. doesn’t seem like our beloved knickerbockers will be heading back out there this year…i guess that’s a good thing…

    not sure who i’ll be rooting for once the season resumes…maybe the bucks and grizz…

  183. Julius drove me crazy too. But I’d rather see him come off the bench than be traded for a crummy pick

  184. This site has taught me not to put any stock in the eye-test, but it’s still really hard for me to understand why George Floyd needed one autopsy, let alone two. It’s like checking basketball reference to see if Steph Curry can shoot 3pters.

  185. the first was SOP, sadly they needed two though cuz the first one was bullshit…

    I’m guessing you got a curfew alert on your phone too donnie…first time I’ve ever seen one of those…strange days indeed…

    shitty timing with an ongoing pandemic, but, really nice to see so many white folks involved in these protests…maybe this time change will happen…

  186. “Randle is our best scorer, but not a good three point shooter. He’s reasonably young and paid a reasonable salary for a twenty and ten guy. But the reputed strategy seems to mean we should ditch him and play a more Rockets or Golden State style. We will get pennies on the dollar for Randle. It’s better to find a way to build a more balanced team around him.”

    I’m in the minority among Knicks fans. I like Randle. I just don’t like him on a team with Robinson, RJ Barrett, Payton and other non shooters. I think his down year was almost entirely the result of who he was playing with and asking him to do too much as a primary option. This is one of many reasons I don’t like Perry. The free agents he signs every year are either terrible or don’t fit together.

    I’m not suggesting dumping Randle for pennies on the dollar, but I think if we want to maximize Robinson, he should play with a stretch 4. Randle would do better on a team like the T-Wolves with a stretch 5 like Towns, playing center in small ball lineups, or off the bench. Maybe if Robinson can stretch his game next year and RJ improves his shooting it will all work better with Randle.

  187. strat, pairing randle and towns would be like the great luby’s fuddruckers combo experiment. everything seems fine until the floodgates open on the other end.

    randle needs to be with a big who can shoot and defend like jjj or turner. but he makes too much even then.

  188. but it’s still really hard for me to understand why George Floyd needed one autopsy, let alone two

    The first one was needed to complete Derek Chauvin’s run of thirteen consecutive dismissed conduct complaints.

  189. It would be nice if there was some equivalent value player we could trade Randle for but who was good at different things than him. I don’t know who that would be though.

  190. KnickfaninNJ:
    It would be nice if there was some equivalent value player we could trade Randle for but who was good at different things than him. I don’t know who that would be though.

    It’s totally Rozier. They had it figured out, but Charlotte wanted a first too, and idiot Mills was going to give it to them.

  191. ***I’m guessing you got a curfew alert on your phone too donnie…first time I’ve ever seen one of those…strange days indeed…***

    1pm curfew (on top of a stay-at-home order), plus the national guard stationed up the street from me. Should be interesting….

  192. And players are now apparently furious that MSG has stayed completely quiet about BLM… I mean, what else could we expect from Dolan.

  193. Oh shit, I think this is correct

    I didn’t know that it was even a secret. I thought he just changed his screen name.

  194. Bruno Almeida:
    And players are now apparently furious that MSG has stayed completely quiet about BLM… I mean, what else could we expect from Dolan.

    Well, good luck trying to get decent free agents while he’s in charge.

  195. Oh shit, I think this is correct
    I didn’t know that it was even a secret. I thought he just changed his screen name.

    What are you talking about?

  196. “Scorpio Dragon
    June 1, 2020 at 10:24 pm
    Bruno Almeida:
    And players are now apparently furious that MSG has stayed completely quiet about BLM… I mean, what else could we expect from Dolan.

    Well, good luck trying to get decent free agents while he’s in charge.”

    OH, please……

    Had the Knicks taken SGA and Donavan Mitchell instead of Frank and Knox both Kyrie and Durant would be Knicks today for better or worse. They signed with NJ because the Knick’s roster was devoid of talent because of years of bad drafting and the KP fiasco.

    They didn’t get rejected by FA’s because Dolan doesn’t virtue signal hard enough. They got rejected because of over a decade of awful management. Dolan is responsible for the bad management.

    I read a poll yesterday where 96% of Americans believe the cop involved should be charged with murder and rightly so. You can’t get 96% of Americans to poll on one side of whether the Sun will rise in the east this morning tomorrow FFS. There is no discussion here.

    The Hennepin County DA is Keith Ellison who is AA and one of the most progressive Congressmen of the last decade and former DNC vice chair so I’m fairly certain those responsible will be charged to the maximum the law allows in the fullness of time.

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