The New York Knicks held their first practice under new head coach Tom Thibodeau on Wednesday, giving the team a glimpse into what the new era in the franchise will look like.
“Usually the first day there’s teaching that goes on,” Thibodeau said, according to ESPN’s Tim Botemps. “It was a good first day, in terms of what we were able to get accomplished.
“It took us a while to get out here. We stayed in the city. The start time was a little delayed as well.”
Thibodeau spoke about adapting quickly, and how it is important to the team playing in today’s NBA.
“I think that’s a big challenge in the NBA: How quickly can you adapt?” Thibodeau said. “Because things always change in the league — whether it’s trade, free agency, an injury, you have to adapt quickly.
“So for us, the focus has to be on the guys who are here. And that’s what we’re doing. Every day we’re thinking about how we can improve as a team and how we can improve individually, and we want that to be our focus.
“We want to stack days together. We know it starts with fundamentals. We have to build that base, and then we’ll take it from there.”
Thibodeau also shared his first impressions of R.J. Barrett who is coming off a rather disappointing rookie season.
“It’s been great,” Thibodeau said of Barrett. “Obviously, there’s a lot of work to be done.
“These are the initial steps. The offseason is critical for any young player. So obviously, you can get going on the development piece, which I think is critical. That holds true for all our players. But he’s been great, eager, he’s working hard. If he does that day after day, he will improve quite a bit.”
Thibodeau’s staff includes former Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne, who has experience working with Knicks forward Kevin Knox.
“There’s no magic formula where you’re going to get everything done in one day,” Thibodeau said. “I think it’s about establishing and building the right habits to be successful. So you’re putting in the foundation of an offensive system and a defensive system and how you’re going to go about your business.
“I think it’s all about building the right habits so the team can get better and improve as time goes on. Kevin’s come in and he’s done quite a bit of work. It’s the same thing. … I’m getting to know him and he’s getting to know me. It will take some time. But I like what he’s done so far.”