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“Thibs Was Just You!”: Jalen Brunson Draws Parallel Between Josh Hart and Knicks HC Over Insane Stat

Shubham Singh

"Thibs Was Just You!": Jalen Brunson Draws Parallel Between Josh Hart and Knicks HC Over Insane Stat

Knicks Head Coach Tom Thibodeau has managed to put the New York side in a competitive position despite being severely understaffed. Part of the Knicks’ success can be credited to Josh Hart‘s relentless hustle on the defensive end. In fact, the 6’4” guard has collected almost 12 rebounds per game during this year’s postseason. Quite remarkably, Hart’s ability to pull down rebounds prompted his teammate Jalen Brunson to compare him with coach Thibodeau.

Recently, Brunson found a huge similarity between the ambitious coach and his unyielding pupil. On his Roommates Show pod with teammate Josh Hart, the Knicks star read out aloud a 1970s newspaper article that mentioned New Britain High School guard Tom Thibodeau pulling down 22 rebounds to lead his squad to an 88-77 win over Hartford Public School.

In the article, the 6-feet guard is referred to as the “self-proclaimed owner of the boards.

After reading the article, Brunson looked at Hart and told him “Thibs was just like you.” In response, Hart pointed out that he is “not a self-proclaimed owner of the boards.” However, he acknowledged that both he and the veteran coach share a similarity as undersized guards who can dominate the boards. 

Thus, as a hooper, coach Tom Thibodeau was a terrific hustle player, just like the Knicks’ tireless guard. While the 66-year-old never chose to become a professional hooper, he began his coaching career at a fairly young age.

Tom Thibodeau’s brief and sweet transition from hooping to coaching

After completing his hooping stint with New Britain High School, Thibodeau took his talents to Salem State College, whose obscure basketball program was in Division III of the NCAA. The 6’2” guard earned his reputation as a dependable off-the-ball long-range shooter but also developed a solid frontcourt game with his hustle and defense.

Following his college hoops career, Thibodeau had his radar set on becoming a coach and served as his college’s assistant coach for the next three years. At just 25, he was promoted to the Head Coach position of the Salem State basketball program. After a single season with Salem State, he served as Harvard’s Head Coach for four years. 

Afterward, he joined as an Assistant coach for the NBA’s expansion squad Minnesota Timberwolves in 1989. It took him 21 years to land a Head Coaching job. when in 2010, the Derrick Rose-led Bulls chose him as their HC. After coaching the Bulls for five years, he served as the Timberwolves’ HC from 2016 to 2019.

Since 2020, he has been the helmsman of the New York Knicks, where he has risen to further prominence. 

Post Edited By:Satagni Sikder

About the author

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh


Shubham Singh is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush. He found his passion in Writing when he couldn't fulfil his dream of playing professional basketball. Shubham is obsessed with box scores and also loves to keep track of advanced stats and is, particularly, fond of writing CoreSport analytical pieces. In the league, his all time favorites were 80s Bad Boys, Pistons, while Dennis Rodman and his enthralling rebounding made him love the game more. It also made him realize that the game is much more than fancy scoring and playmaking. Shubham is also a huge fan of cricket and loves to watch all forms of women sports.

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