Tom Thibodeau cites Michael Jordan, ’90s Knicks for views on load management

The NBA recently surprised many by acknowledging that load management does not have any correlation with reducing injuries.

For Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau, who has been skeptical about load management, this may feel like vindication. However, instead of celebrating, Thibodeau reiterated his stance on the matter, referencing past experiences and conversations with basketball legends.

“My focus has always been on observing top-performing teams and learning from their preparation methods,” said Thibodeau. “I once had an extensive discussion with Michael Jordan about this topic, discussing the strategies he implemented to prepare for a season. He firmly believed, and so did the entire organization, in a specific work ethic.”

“It was the same situation in Boston. When we won the championship in 2008, those players were exceptional. They never missed a practice. They were an outstanding practice team. Similarly, the Knicks of the ’90s were renowned for their commitment to practice, and it paid off. In professional sports, injuries are always a possibility. It’s important to consider all factors. However, you must prepare yourself for a lengthy season.”

Thibodeau, who has faced criticism for his aversion to load management, also stated that the new data does not necessarily change his approach to handling injured players or those playing through pain.

“Each team and player is unique,” Thibodeau explained. “You have to make decisions that you believe are best for your team. Sometimes, nobody wants to see an injured player on the court.”

“If a player is injured, he shouldn’t play. However, if he’s a young player who is developing and learning, it’s a different situation. You have to evaluate each circumstance individually and make decisions accordingly. It’s a long season, and you need to condition yourself for it.”


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