As the NBA coaching carousel gets ready to spin again, several high-profile openings could exist before the 2020-21 season. Tom Thibodeau believes he is the man to fill one of those openings.
Thibodeau was fired by the Minnesota Timberwolves last summer after compiling a 97-107 record and one playoff appearance in two-and-a-half seasons. That came on the heels of a five-year run as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, where Thibs took the Bulls to the postseason every year but they never went further than when they reached the Conference Finals his first year.
Over his eight years as a head coach, Thibodeau has gained a reputation as a tough coach with no regard for regular season rest and load management. In an era where more and more players are playing less and less, Thibs has often been cited as a relic of an era gone by. But he recently told ESPN’s First Take that he is prepared to evolve.
Paul Pierce, who played under Thibodeau when he was an assistant with the Celtics from 2007-2010, believes his former coach can adapt.
“I think that’s an easy fix. It’s just about adjusting your practice habits, understanding the minutes and the time off your players need,” Paul said. “I still believe Thibs is a great coach in this league. He’s shown it. He’s proved it. He’s well-respected.”
Watch below as Paul, Rachel Nichols and Zach Lowe discuss the missteps in Coach Thibodeau’s career as well as pressure mounting to save the 2019-20 season and how it may linger long enough to impact the 2020-21 season. Check out The Jump weekdays at 3 pm ET on ESPN.