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“Built For What New York Is”: Kevin Garnett Makes Coach Tom Thibodeau & Julius Randle’s Case To Knicks Amid Swirling Rumours



The New York Knicks had one of their finer seasons in decades, managing to get to the Conference Semifinals for the 2 time in 24 years. They, however, couldn’t go further having been eliminated at the hands of the Indiana Pacers. This sudden drop in performance, perhaps, could be attributed to the absence of Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, OG Anunoby, and a few other players.

Despite this, Kevin Garnett, while making a special appearance on the show of renowned ESPN sportscaster Stephen A. Smith highlighted that, even though he’s a Celtics faithful, he believes that the Knicks will be a tough competitor to watch out for come next season. Garnett praised the scoring prowess that is generated from a Jalen Brunson-Julius Randle partnership, and the individual contributions of Josh Hart.

Even as Stephen A. Smith objected, Garnett continued stating that Julius Randle is the number one option to assist Brunson take the franchise to a new level next year. “Julius Randle is one of the harder guards in this,” said the Celtics legend. “And he left-handed, he got a three-ball, he can play make. He ain’t perfect, but with this team ……. the Knicks are perfect. The Knicks should not be touched. Let’s run this two years with this team and then talk about that Superstar sh*t later”.


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While Garnett stood up to make the case for Randle and other Knicks players, Smith highlighted his appreciation for the franchise’s head coach: Tom Thibodeau. Despite knowing that the reportedly “grinds” the players hard during the training sessions, the sportscaster believed that this made him a great trainer to start with.

“We know he old school, but I tell you this, I don’t want Thibs (Thibodeau) to go away,” said Smith. “I thought that I would want somebody like Ty Lue …. hell with all that. This is my guy. Thibs has been taking heat because he’s that Old School Cat that will grind you, grind you,” said the analyst.

Garnett agreed with his interviewer’s viewpoint, believing that a synergy between the old-school coaches and the players is what the Knicks need to have to get a chance at clinching a championship ring for themselves. He added to Smith’s remarks by stating “I love Thibs because he’s built for what New York is”.

Julius Randle and Tom Thibodeau may get forced out before the New York Knicks next season


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The remarks made by Kevin Garnett and Stephen A. Smith in support of Julius Randle and Tom Thibodeau come during a period when the future of both individuals seems uncertain.

Thibodeau joined the Knicks almost four years ago after he was unceremoniously fired from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Although the long-struggling NY team has been in better shape since the arrival of the new head coach, the latter has often faced backlash for reportedly “overworking his players”. Due to this, and the fact that the Knicks were once again unsuccessful in going past the Semifinals, doubts have been raised on whether the franchise will go through with the coach’s contract extension.

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According to New York Post reporter Stefan Bondy, a source has come out to state that he is confident that an agreement may be finalized between the two entities soon. In fact, Thibodeau can reportedly end up receiving as much as $10 million per season through the new agreement.


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USA Today via Reuters

As for Julius Randle, rumors have been circulating that the player is being considered as part of a potential trade. Renowned NBA reporter Shams Charania recently revealed that other NBA franchises are closely “monitoring” Randle’s status. The power forward had been absent from the Knicks main lineup since late January due to a shoulder injury. After undergoing surgery in April to treat the same, he was ruled out for the rest of the season. Given this situation, and the fact that the player will cost the franchise $30.3 million during the 2024-25 season, opinions are being raised on whether extending his contract will prove fruitful.

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