New York Knicks: Tom Thibodeau

Jim Boeheim: Thibodeau loves Melo

June, 25, 2014
Jun 25
12:54
PM ET
Last week, we learned Carmelo Anthony had been quizzing famous Chicagoans about what it’s like to live under the microscope in the Windy City.

Now comes word that Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau would love to coach Carmelo.

Yes, the signals keep getting stronger that the Bulls will be a front-runner in the Carmelo sweepstakes.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, who coached alongside Thibodeau at the Team USA training camp last summer in Las Vegas, said in an interview with the New York Post that Thibodeau is smitten with the idea of coaching Anthony.

And, Boeheim says, Carmelo would be excited about playing for Thibodeau.

“I’ve talked to Tom about Melo, his name has come up," Boeheim said. “I think Tom is very excited about the possibility of getting Carmelo. He likes him. He likes how he plays. He feels he’s coachable. I think Tom Thibodeau is one of the better coaches in the NBA. Carmelo would be happy playing for him. It would be a good fit -- the coach-player relationship."

The Bulls are expected to come hard after Anthony once he hits the market July 1.

Chicago doesn’t have the cap space to sign Anthony as a free agent but could acquire him via a sign-and-trade, provided the Knicks are willing to cooperate.

The Bulls can offer a package including Carlos Boozer -- whose contract expires after the 2014-15 season -- draft picks and a young, cheap player such as Jimmy Butler or Tony Snell.

The Knicks will likely be opposed to taking back players whose contracts extend beyond the 2014-15 season because they want as much cap space as possible to chase free agents that summer. That's why Boozer makes sense financially, even though acquiring the veteran may not make a ton of sense from a basketball perspective.

Why should we put stock into Boeheim's thoughts on Carmelo?

Boeheim’s opinion on all things Melo is relevant because the Syracuse coach led Anthony and the Orange to a national title in 2003 -- Carmelo’s only season at Syracuse.

Anthony said last season that he still speaks regularly with Boeheim and seeks his advice often.

So when Boeheim speaks about Anthony, it’s worth listening to.

As far as free agency goes, Anthony has said that he would like to remain in New York but that he also wants to put himself in a position to win titles. The Bulls -- provided Derrick Rose is healthy -- give him a better opportunity to chase a title next season than the Knicks would.

But Anthony has also said that it would be difficult to uproot his family from New York and bring his young son, Kiyan, to another city.

Chicago, Houston, Miami, the Clippers and Lakers are the main suitors expected to come after Anthony. The Mavericks, Hawks and Cavaliers also are expected to have interest.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Thibodeau considers Knicks 'dangerous'

April, 13, 2011
4/13/11
12:06
AM ET
NEW YORK -- Standing in a hallway outside the visitor's locker room Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, about 25 minutes after his Bulls defeated the Knicks 103-90, Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau was singing the Knicks' praises -- not necessarily for how they played on Tuesday, but for how they've played of late, and how they could play going forward in the postseason.

"They're gonna be a dangerous team," Thibodeau said of the Knicks. "And if you look at the way they're playing right now, they're playing at a very high level, and that's without [Amare] Stoudemire."

The Knicks had won seven straight prior to this defeat, including the last two without Stoudemire, who is nursing a sprained left ankle. Stoudemire also missed Tuesday night's game, but is expected to be healthy and ready to go when the sixth-seeded Knicks take on the No. 3 Celtics in an Eastern Conference first-round series, starting this weekend in Boston.

Thibodeau knows that Celtics team well -- prior to taking the job with the Bulls last June, he served as the associate head coach with the Celtics for three seasons, helping them to two NBA Finals and a championship in 2008.

As fond as he is of those Celtics, Thibodeau gave the Knicks a fighting chance to pull the upset in the upcoming series.

"They've got three stars," Thibodeau said of the Knicks. "It comes down to -- most playoff games are gonna be the ability to get your three primary scorers better shots than your opponent can get their three primary scorers. So they have three primary scorers, as do the Celtics. So then it'll be how well you execute, who's healthy, and I think you've gotta be well-balanced too."

Thibodeau even went so far as to (gasp!) praise the Knicks' defense.

"The Knicks have come a long way," Thibodeau said. "Their defense is vastly improved. They're very unselfish. They play smart. [And] I think at the end of games, you have got a guy in [Chauncey] Billups, who's been in a lot of tight situations and can get things done."

The Knicks (42-39) took two of three this season from the Bulls, who will be the top seed in the East at 61-20. Yes, the two wins came in November and December -- long before the Carmelo Anthony trade. And the Bulls were missing a key player each time.

But the Knicks are dangerous -- just listen to the coach of the best team in the Eastern Conference.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
23.7 3.2 0.9 36.5
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.4
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.2
StealsP. Prigioni 1.4
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.2