NBA Rumors: Houston Rockets Ready to Make Huge Change for Championship Run

Published 05/05/2020, 2:18 AM EDT


NBA teams have no time to rest in this period of quarantine. The front offices will have to test the transition from the current season to the upcoming 2020-21 year. Reports have suggested that the Houston Rockets, New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets are all looking to poach Tom Thibodeau as their team’s head coach.

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The coveted name of Tom Thibodeau is rolling around in the lists of these three teams, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Berman revealed that the Knicks will be pushing for a deal that will bring their former assistant coach back at the team.

The Knicks, who have an interim coach in place at the moment, would be looking to fill in the gap permanently. Having failed to make it to the playoffs since 2012-13, Knicks president Leon Rose has to be thinking of closing a deal soon.

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The coaching history of Tom Thibodeau

Tom Thibodeau is well known for his coaching abilities and the skill of training young talents. He was the coach of the Chicago Bulls for five years from 2015 to 2019, and has a decent record with them. The 62-year-old progressed with Chicago as far as the Eastern Conference Finals, but unfortunately never made it to the grand stage. 

His 255-139 record is a worthy one. Considering he never really had the full service of his best player, Derrick Rose. An injury-hit career also caused havoc in the Bulls’ and Thibodeau’s plans. He moved on to a better role with the Minnesota Timberwolves after having a fallout with the Bulls team.

The Timberwolves hired Thibodeau as their president of basketball operations cum head coach for the 2016-17 season. Having spent the past decade in absolute despair, the team urgently needed a mastermind to turn their fortunes around. Thibodeau was successful with his plans and took the team to the playoffs in 2018. It was the Wolves’ first playoff appearance since 2004. 

Houston Rockets look to seal the services of Tom Thibodeau

The Houston Rockets are also in the race to sign Thibodeau. James Harden and Russell Westbrook have been dominating with the Rockets, and they are 40-24 in the current season. Mike D’ Antoni, the current coach, has his contract expiring at the end of the season. But the team is not keen on providing him with an extension. 

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The Houston Rockets will be among the front runners to sign Thibodeau next season. He is a defensive tactician, and his take should be on the Rockets. The Rockets will certainly advance to their eighth successive playoffs if the season resumes. Berman of the NY Post writes, 

“While his reputation took a hit with the failure in bringing Jimmy Butler to Minnesota and allegedly mishandling young talent, sources told The Post the Nets and Houston will have strong interest, too. Houston’s Mike D’Antoni will be a free agent. It appears Thibodeau would have interest in all three jobs.”

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The Brooklyn Nets have also been looking for a head coach after the team fired Kenny Atkinson and have an interim coach in place. The likes of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are also said to be interested in the signing of Thibodeau. He has been the assistant coach of Team USA when both superstars were a part of the Olympics Squad. The team has not won a playoff series since 2013-14 and would look to overturn their misfortunes in the upcoming season.

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Arjun Athreya

2108 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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