The Boston Celtics announced today that they have named Tom Thibodeau as an assistant coach. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“I’ve admired Tom as a coach for a long time. It’s good to have him on my side.” said Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers.
Thibodeau, who comes to the team from the Houston Rockets, had helped the Rockets rank among the top five in the NBA in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense in each of the past four campaigns.
In his now 17 NBA seasons, Thibodeau has helped his team finish in the NBA’s Top 10 in team defense 14 times. He has also coached in 87 NBA playoff games in his career, including New York’s appearance in the 1999 NBA Finals.
Prior to joining the Rockets, Thibodeau spent the previous seven years as an assistant coach with the New York Knicks. During his tenure with the Knicks, New York set a then-NBA record by holding 33 consecutive opponents under 100 points in the 2000-01 season. Thibodeau and the Knicks coaching staff also helped Jeff Van Gundy coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars in the 2000 NBA All-Star Game.
Thibodeau entered the NBA in 1989 as an assistant coach with the expansion Minnesota Timberwolves under the late Bill Musselman. After two seasons with the Timberwolves, he joined the Seattle SuperSonics in 1991 as an advance scout. The following year, Thibodeau moved to San Antonio, where he worked with Jerry Tarkanian and John Lucas as a Spurs assistant coach for two seasons. He left San Antonio to become an assistant coach under Lucas with the Philadelphia 76ers. Thibodeau’s stay in Philadelphia lasted two seasons, at which point, he joined the Knicks. With the Knicks, Thibodeau worked with Van Gundy for five years and Don Chaney for two seasons.
Thibodeau’s coaching career began in 1981 as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Salem State College. After three years as an assistant, he became head coach in 1984. The following season, Thibodeau became an assistant coach at Harvard. He coached at Harvard for four years before leaving for the NBA.