Sports

Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau lashes out at social media critics

MIAMI — After a season rife with second-guessing of his rotations and beginning lineup, Tom Thibodeau expressed concern that media and social media has tried to drive a wedge between his workforce by pitting participant vs. participant.

The central theme of a season gone dangerous revolved round incessant questions on whether or not sure guys have been getting sufficient taking part in time.

Ought to 2020 lottery decide Obi Toppin begin over Julius Randle? Ought to level guard Kemba Walker have been benched for wing Alec Burks?

Why aren’t extra younger gamers getting time? The place is rookie Miles McBride? Are the Knicks higher off with Randle injured?

Thibodeau lastly had sufficient of it following the Knicks’ 111-103 thrilling comeback win over the first-place Warmth on Friday evening when backup level guard Immanuel Quickley and three rookies in McBride, Quentin Grimes and Jericho Sims sparked the comeback.

When requested in regards to the explosion by the younger weapons, Thibodeau bought defensive and the press convention veered towards an sudden path.

“You guys are attempting to nitpick this, nitpick that,’’ Thibodeau mentioned. “You want everybody throughout the course of a season. Thibodeau added every participant is significant — naming others who didn’t have the identical impression Friday, RJ Barrett, Burks, Mitchell Robinson, Randle, who sat out the competition.

Tom Thibodeau
AP

“It’s a workforce not a person factor,’ Thibodeau mentioned. “Can’t decide up a boxscore after and say, how many individuals are watching to the tip of the sport to actually know precisely what occurred within the sport. I see quite a lot of opinions however I don’t see guys doing the work to really examine it.’’

Thibodeau was seemingly not referring to the full-time beat writers overlaying the workforce however the array of Knicks fan podcasts and what’s proudly known as “Knicks Twitter’’ — arguably the edgiest fan conglomerate on the social-media spectrum.

“It’s the place we’re in society at present. Social media,’’ Thibodeau mentioned. “Look, hey, it’s a part of the sport. We like it. It drives the sport. It’s as standard because it’s ever been. However to me, I don’t like something that eats away on the cloth of the workforce.

“And so, folks need to take one sport, whether or not it’s a win or a loss they usually went, ‘Effectively, this, this and this. A man would possibly make one good play within the sport, and he has 9 dangerous performs. Or conversely, he makes 9 good performs, and he has one dangerous play.’’

Sources have indicated Thibodeau has been most offended by claims he mistreated Walker, who finally shut it down on the All-Star break, and accusations he’s stunted Toppin’s progress due to an absence of taking part in time.

Thibodeau’s reference {that a} participant may make one good play and 9 dangerous ones may very well be a reference to Toppin, who hears “O-bi’’ chants after one showboat dunk.

“I’m simply saying, everybody has all of the solutions proper after a sport and sometimes instances, they haven’t studied,’’ Thibodeau mentioned. “And I don’t need something to divide our workforce. I would like our workforce collectively. That’s the way you win — as a workforce. You lose as a workforce.

“So, once I see stuff being written or folks speaking about this, that. You hear it on a regular basis, after which whenever you truly do examine it and also you watch the sport once more and possibly you watch it a 3rd time, you truly know what transpired.’’

It’s commonplace for a head coach to lash out on the media for its second-guessing, however it was unusual to return after arguably the season’s most spectacular win that stored their season alive, albeit barely. After highway victories in Charlotte and Miami, the Knicks (32-42) go to Detroit for a Sunday matinee 5 video games out of the ultimate play-in slot.

That the Knicks children spurred the win and that they’ve gained two straight minus Randle, Thibodeau in all probability imagines, will spur extra discuss he should go youthful.

Quickley, who starred with 20 of his 23 factors within the fourth quarter, mentioned his teammates are used to the discussion board.

“Nah, social media is all the time going to be social media,’’ Quickley mentioned. “One of the best gamers in our sport have been ridiculed on social media. Any person’s all the time going to have an opinion. That’s not essentially make it proper or mistaken, however you may’t get caught up in that stuff. Social media is one thing you may’t management, so that you simply attempt to transfer on.’’

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