Saturday, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Tom Thibodeau is finalizing a five-year contract to be the next coach of the New York Knicks.
Thibodeau has been criticized in some circles for a grating leadership style and over-taxing key players, especially during his five-year stint coaching the Bulls. So much so, even, that a poll conducted by The Athletic in 2019 pegged Thibs as the coach a 52-person sample of players would least want to play for.
But as buzz tying him to the Knicks swelled, those who know Thibodeau have piped up to back him. Nate Robinson, who played one year under Thibodeau in Chicago in 2012-13, publicly endorsed the idea of the hire when it was still in the rumor stage. In the wake of Wojnarowski's report, Joakim Noah hopped on social media to do the same.
In a comment on an Instagram post shared by comedian (and renowned Knicks fan) Michael Rapaport welcoming Thibodeau to New York, Noah congratulated Thibs; then, when Rapoport followed up to ask Jo what the Knicks' new coach will bring to the team, Noah elaborated.
"[D]efense and practice habits," Noah commented. "The Knicks are in good hands. All he cares about is hoop. Perfect fit."
Noah blossomed into an elite player under Thibodeau's tutelage — he anchored the most successful Bulls teams since the dynasty, and took home Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2014.
Now, mired in a rudderless rebuild, the Knicks will hope his words prove prescient.