NEW YORK – Tom Thibodeau brought the Chicago Bulls to their greatest success since Michael Jordan.
He returned the Minnesota Timberwolves to the playoffs after a 13-year absence.
All the while, there was one challenge he sought. He has seen what it's like in New York when the Knicks win and wanted to be the coach to make it happen again.
“This a dream come true for me,” Thibodeau said. “This is my dream job.”
He got it Thursday, when the Knicks brought the former NBA Coach of the Year back to the organization he helped reach the NBA Finals as an assistant.
Thibodeau was an assistant with the Knicks from 1996-2003, part of Jeff Van Gundy's staff when they made a run from the No. 8 seed to the finals in 1999. He's had success all around the NBA since he left and the Knicks have had almost none, but that hasn't dampened his desire to come back.
“Maybe part of that is I grew up in Connecticut. My father, my family, we grew up as Knick fans,” Thibodeau said during a Zoom press conference. “I think I experienced it during the '90s that there’s no better place to be than Madison Square Garden. And so I love challenges, I love that city, I love the arena, I love the fans and I’m excited about the team."
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.