Assistants who could join Tom Thibodeau’s staff: Familiar faces
If the four candidates listed in this article join Thibodeau’s coaching staff, it is most likely at the front office’s request. In Tom Thibodeau’s introductory press conference, GM Scott Perry claimed that Thibodeau would have full autonomy over his staff, but Leon Rose and William Wesley reportedly want substantial input.
The candidates most likely to join Thibodeau’s staff, per his request, are Ed Pinckney, Rick Brunson, Larry Greer, and Andy Greer, most of whom have been on his bench in Chicago and Minnesota.
Rick Brunson played for the Knicks from 1998 to 2001, where Tom Thibodeau was an assistant coach to Jeff Van Gundy. Brunson joined Thibodeau’s staff in Chicago from 2010 to 2013 and served as an assistant to Thibodeau in Minnesota from 2016 to 2018. He resigned from the Timberwolves after allegations arose about his misconduct with a female massage therapist. However, those allegations did not stick, and Brunson accepted the head coaching position at Camden High School in New Jersey.
Brunson is a nine-year vet and was Leon Rose’s very first client. His son, Jalen Brunson, plays for the Mavericks, and Rick would give the Knicks another former player on the staff that could relate to the struggles of growing into your own as a young player in the league.
Ed Pinckney is another former NBA player that could join Thibodeau’s staff. He has been with Thibodeau every year he has been a head coach and primarily works with the big men.
Pinckney won an NCAA title with Villanova in 1985 and is a 12-year vet. He is from the South Bronx projects and is expected to be strongly considered for an assistant job on Thibodeau’s staff in New York, giving the team another relatable figure for players.
Lastly, the Greer brothers are also expected to be strong candidates for an assistant job. Andy Greer was an assistant for the Knicks from 2001 to 2003. He and Thibodeau were both on head coach Don Chaney’s staff. Andy Greer then followed Thibodeau to Chicago for the entirety of his Chicago tenure and spent two years under Thibs in Minnesota. Andy’s brother, Larry, spent one season with Thibodeau in Minnesota and was dismissed from the Suns this season.
Thibodeau trusts both Greer brothers, and Andy has an extensive history as an assistant coach in the league. They would both help enforce Thibodeau’s coaching philosophy and would better be characterized as schematic coaches as opposed to Brunson and Pickney.