Player rankings are all the rage as we lead up to the NBA’s 75th season, tipping off on October 19th. Where would NY Knicks‘ head coach Tom Thibodeau rank in a similar tiered outline of other current NBA Coaches?
Hollywood is littered with stories about how the right coach can transform a team. There’s Coach Carter, Remember the Titans, and Bad News Bears just off the top of my head.
Let’s also not forget the Knicks-based classic Eddie.
And when Whoopi Goldberg came out of the stands and turned around a struggling Knicks franchise, she proved one thing to be true:
Sure, the NBA is a player-driven league, and no coach wins without the right guys, but coaches DO matter.
Where does NY Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau rank amongst NBA Head Coaches?
You might say, “Phil Jackson only has eleven rings because he coached guys like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. I’d reply devilishly, “Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have zero rings without Phil Jackson as their head coach.”
In researching this, there are a few key pieces of trivia that I found interesting. (All stats are according to Basketball-Reference.)
First, only four head coaches with more than one season of experience have career winning percentages better than 60%: Steve Kerr, Tyronn Lue, Nick Nurse, and Gregg Popovich.
Second, only seven active coaches have won coach of the year. Only three (Mike Budenholzer, Popovich, and the Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau) have won the award more than once.
Third, only nine of the 30 active coaches have won a title.
On the slides that follow, I break the thirty active coaches, including Knicks Head Coach Thibodeau, into six different tiers.
Where does the Knicks’ head man fall?