Steve Clifford defended Tom Thibodeau's reputation, saying that Thibodeau's biggest strength is in building strong relationships with his players.
“The misconception is how personable he is. Guys love him. It’s not going to be every single player, but his relationship with players is a strength," Clifford told Marc Berman of the New York Post.
Clifford and Thibodeau coached together on Jeff Van Gundy's staff with the Knicks and the Rockets.
Thibodeau is a rumored candidate for the open Knicks position.
Clifford added that Thibodeau was also underrated on the offensive end.
"I think he’s labeled very much as a defensive coach and yet coaching against him, he’s a terrific offensive coach. Teams in Chicago and Minnesota, the numbers bear that out. Is he great defensive coach? There’s no better defensive mind than Tom. But he’s also a terrific offensive coach.’’