NBA rumors are swirling that the Minnesota Timberwolves have narrowed their choices for their next head coach between former Chicago Bulls lead man Tom Thibodeau and one-time New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, several media outlets have suggested.
After an unceremonious end to his time in Chicago, Tom Thibodeau is a wanted man these days. The Minnesota Timberwolves are one of many teams that NBA rumors have suggested might employ Tom Thibodeau next season. That’s because Tom Thibodeau took his Bulls team to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals in his first season, and he returned the team to the semi-finals two more times in five years.
Overall, Tom Thibodeau owns a 255-139 record during five NBA regular seasons. His.647 winning percentage is good enough for Tom Thibodeau to rank third place among active NBA coaches with at least five seasons leading a franchise, prompting the rumors of his return to the sidelines in the near future.
NBA rumors suggesting that Jeff Van Gundy will become the next Minnesota Timberwolves head coach are taking aim at a coach whose last time guiding a team came in 2007 with the Houston Rockets. Since then, Jeff Van Gundy has been a TV analyst for the NBA, but rumors have swirled around his return to the sidelines almost ever since.
The time Jeff Van Gundy spent on the sidelines was marked with success. New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy led the team to the NBA Finals in 1999, losing to the San Antonio Spurs in five games during the strike-shortened season. Jeff Van Gundy followed up that season with a trip to the NBA Eastern Conference finals, losing to the Reggie Miller-led Indiana Pacers.
Despite having Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady during his time with the Houston Rockets, Jeff Van Gundy never advanced past the first round in the NBA playoffs. The Minnesota Timberwolves would need to overlook that as the next head coach for the team will be tasked with growing young talent into playoff contenders.
The job is certainly one that has attracted attention from many current and former coaches. Yahoo! Sports proclaimed the Minnesota Timberwolves’ job as “the most appealing on the coaching market” in their report on Tom Thibodeau and Jeff Van Gundy being regarded as the top two choices.
Ability to win right away won’t be an issue, either. The next Minnesota Timberwolves head coach will have a talented group of players to mold, Fox Sports reported. Rookie center Karl-Anthony Towns is an overwhelming favorite to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award, but far from the only young athlete on the roster. Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Gorgui Dieng, Ricky Rubio, and Shabazz Muhammad form a strong core for the next Minnesota Timberwolves head coach to build into a consistent winner.
Their young and confident center would agree. “We’re going to be really good,” Karl-Anthony Towns said earlier this week. “Really, really good. Frightening, actually. We have every tool needed to be the team we see ourselves being. We have a year of experience under our belt. I think everything is going in the right direction.”
What’s interesting in the NBA rumors about the Minnesota Timberwolves making their choice between Tom Thibodeau and Jeff Van Gundy is the dynamic between the two individuals involved. Jeff hired a young Thibodeau when Van Gundy was the New York Knicks head man. Tom Thibodeau remained on the same staff with Jeff Van Gundy for more than a decade before Thibodeau went to the Boston Celtics to become their assistant coach.
Targeting coaches like Jeff Van Gundy and Tom Thibodeau signal the Minnesota Timberwolves want a defensive-minded coach to lead their young squad. Minnesota ranked among the NBA’s worst in opponent field goal percentage as the Timberwolves yielded the seventh-worst points per game average in the league this season.
What do you think about the Minnesota Timberwolves focusing on Tom Thibodeau and Jeff Van Gundy as their franchise’s next head coach? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
[Photo by Jonathan Daniel & Jeff Gross/Getty Images]