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Former NBA player slams New York Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau, blames him for injuries

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Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have been praised for handling the adversity of numerous injuries suffered both before and during the NBA Playoffs. Now, one former player is taking aim at Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau for being responsible for the absences.

Entering NBA games today, the Knicks injury report lists OG Anunoby (hamstring), Mitchell Robinson (ankle), Bojan Bogdanovic (foot, wrist) and Julius Randle (shoulder) as out for Tuesday’s game. While Anunoby has a chance to return later in the Pacers vs Knicks series, the rest of the injuries are season-ending.

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Meanwhile, All-Star guard Jalen Brunson is fighting through a foot injury that has especially impacted his play as of late. It’s led to a severely depleted Knicks rotation, seemingly serving as the source of criticism for former NBA player Chandler Parsons.

Appearing on FanDuel’s “Run It Back“, Parsons called out Thibodeau for being responsible for the Knicks’ injuries thanks to the heavy minutes he makes his top players play throughout the season.

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“This is why that players poll came out with guys that don’t want to play for [Tom Thibodeau], because it doesn’t last, you can’t sustain it in such a long season.”

Chandler Parsons on New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau

Parsons does have some validity to his point. Randle (35.4 PG), Brunson (35.4 MPG) and Anunoby (34.9 MPG) were among the NBA leaders during the regular season in minutes per game. It’s part of the reason why, in The Athletic’s poll of NBA players, Thibodeau was overwhelmingly voted as the coach players would least want to play for (46.8 percent) with the second-worst coach (Doc Rivers) at only 9.1 percent.

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However, Brunson, Anunoby and Josh Hart would also argue that that they like being that involved in the game and they don’t want to come off the court. While the heavy minutes do take a toll on players’ bodies, it also helped the Knicks reach the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

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