Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts in the first quarter...

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts in the first quarter during Game 1 of an NBA Eastern Conference first-round playoff series against the 76ers on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Tom Thibodeau didn’t land among the top three finalists for NBA Coach of the Year honors, but he did find himself on a different list again, leading a poll of anonymous players in The Athletic as the coach players would least like to play for.

The players who do play for him took offense, insisting that the outsiders know nothing of Thibodeau.

“Bull. That’s all I have to say,” Donte DiVincenzo said. “A lot of guys don’t play for Thibs. I play for Thibs. On the outside looking in, you have a certain viewpoint. When you are inside and play for Thibs, like I said, it’s bull.”

DiVincenzo is on his fourth team and fourth head coach, and he said outsiders don’t understand.

“You don’t know him,” he said. “You don’t know how the organization runs. You don’t know how the practices run. You don’t know anything. You see honestly on the sideline how he acts. To us, that’s dedication. That’s how much love and dedication he gives to us every day . . . Like I said, that poll is bull and inaccurate.”

When the NBA on ESPN posted news of the poll on X, Josh Hart commented, “Man, these dudes soft.”

When Thibodeau was asked about the poll and his players coming to his defense, he said: “They want more minutes. No reaction. I couldn’t care less about that.”


The Mavericks and Knicks were tied at 50-32 this season, so they had to have a coin toss for the 24th pick, and it was won by the Mavericks. But the Mavs are sending the pick to the Knicks as the final piece of the Kristaps Porzingis trade, so the Knicks will select 24th and 25th and would have regardless of whether they won or lost the coin toss.

One plus is the Knicks’ recent history of draft picks in that range — Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes — and beyond, to Deuce McBride, Mitchell Robinson and Jericho Sims.


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months