Tom Thibodeau hints at shift in Knicks’ G-League stance

Tom Thibodeau hints at shift in Knicks’ G-League stance

Judging by Tom Thibodeau’s remarks Thursday, the Knicks’ coverage on employing their G-League Westchester Knicks could shift.

During his Zoom introductory simply call, Thibodeau reported if a youthful prospect is not obtaining adequate playing time, there may be cause to take a look at sending him to the G-League.

“I believe recreation-time is critical,’’ Thibodeau stated. “So if a younger player is not having the proper volume of time to acquire, we’ll benefit from the G-League. That’s come to be an essential element of our league. We’ll unquestionably choose gain of that.’’

There was an irony to Thibodeau’s statement. The plan of applying the G-League Knicks to give huge minutes to lottery picks such as Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina grew to become the root of a debate concerning Craig Robinson, the team’s former vice president of participant advancement/G-League operations, and Knicks GM Scott Perry, The Publish has learned.

Robinson, brother of former Initially Girl Michelle Obama, remaining the Knicks in mid-July to turn out to be the head of the Nationwide Association of Basketball Coaches. Robinson’s deal was to expire in August and he was not predicted to return less than the new regime. Robinson and ousted president Steve Mills have been previous Princeton teammates and close mates.

Tom Thibodeau
Tom ThibodeauAP

According to an NBA resource acquainted with the condition, Robinson lobbied to have the Knicks’ prime prospects who weren’t getting more than enough NBA time to invest a few online games — or months — in the G-League to attain rhythm and grow confidence.

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Perry rejected the notion, sensation it would be perceived as too massive a demotion and felt observe time as very well as getting all over NBA coaches was additional critical, according to a source. Robinson’s counter was that throughout the NBA period, exercise time and scrimmages are minimal.

There had been a good deal of prospects for Smith, Ntilikina and Knox to perform for Westchester. Robinson felt that would be a nutritious element of their development, in accordance to the resource.

In 2019-20, Smith observed two massive layoffs. In October, he left the club for a few months just after his stepmother passed away. That was adopted by sitting out more than a month with an indirect damage. Smith was also in and out of the rotation upon his return and his period turned into a mess.

Ntilikina, way too, has not usually been a important fixture in the rotation in his first 3 seasons. In addition, Knox, faced with minimal taking part in time in his 2nd time, struggled massively with a demotion to the bench.

Individuals three mixed to perform zero game titles in the G-League — which might or might not have stunted their progress.

Robinson experienced pushed for Courtney Lee and Joakim Noah to make rehab appearances in Westchester. That was authorized by Perry. In addition, second-round picks, Damyean Dotson and Ignas Brazdeikis, noticed their share of G-League action. Brazdeikis played 24 game titles for Westchester as a rookie.

This apparent alter in philosophy — if adopted — could have a big effects in 2020-21. The Knicks have 3 picks in the leading 37, their own lottery decide, the Clippers’ first-rounder and Charlotte’s 2nd-spherical choose.

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Thibodeau has a track record of not overplaying his rookies. So theoretically, Westchester could be an occasional landing place to try out to pace up their participant development.

It is unclear if Robinson’s place will be filled by group president Leon Rose. In accordance a league source, the franchise might want extra of an on-court docket participant advancement coach than Robinson was.

Robinson had more of an govt function as Mills made it a few a long time ago and the former Oregon Point out coach didn’t do on-court docket function with the gamers.

Having said that, Robinson was regarded to get out a large amount of the gamers to evening meal on the street to instill belief, goodwill and get to know them much better. Maybe that was what he was referring to when he talked about the “special sauce’’ the franchise was making use of in its player development.

The Write-up has claimed assistant to the GM Allan Houston would get on far more of an on-courtroom player-developmental role and that Rod Strickland has been viewed as for a G-League/participant growth purpose.

Thibodeau made reference to the scenario when asked his look at of participant growth. Houston played for the Knicks when Thibodeau was the major assistant. Thibodeau was not questioned especially about Robinson’s departure.

“In some circumstances the participant enhancement men are the guys you get out on the floor,’’ Thibodeau stated. “If you have some more mature players on your roster, you tend to go with extra participant improvement guys so the more youthful guys can get the work they want [if they’re not playing]. But I consider we’ll appear at our roster. We have a really young crew. We have to prioritize that.”

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Perry, who was on the Zoom call, pressured player enhancement as a component of Thibodeau’s new personnel.

“Based on the discussions that we have had, this workers will be varied and extremely solid in all locations, particularly in participant enhancement,’’ Perry mentioned.

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