Skip to main content

"Yelling and screaming isn’t necessarily coaching"

Andrew-Wiggins-Tom-Thibodeau

Andrew Wiggins has all the tools to be a great NBA player, but he is hands down one of the worst contracts in the NBA, relative to his production. At the start of last season, his contract extension was one of the most complicated questions in free agency. The way he got the contract is an example of bad ownership.

The Timberwolves owner had a meeting in which he asked Wiggins will he work hard to be a great player. Shockingly, Wiggins said yes, and the owner decided to give him a 5-year max extension that amounts to about $145 million through '22/'23 season. Wiggins proceeded to have his worst NBA season yet, lowest field goal percentage and points scored in his career. The worst thing is, his more significant issue is his defense.

That was supposed to be fixed with bringing Tom Thibodeau on. Thibs made his mark on the defensive end, first as the Celtics assistant coach and then in Chicago. His teams would regularly be in top 5 defensively, and people had high hopes for Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins under his coaching. The opposite happened.

Thibs only has one gear, and it suits ancient Sparta. In Boston, he had KG, in Chicago Joakim Noah. His scheme is founded on a dominant defensive center and a locker room where the leaders consider themselves warriors, and that's the pace they set for the entire team. You know, when you do a set of push-ups on your knuckles after a flagrant.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

After his departure from the Bulls, Thibs had a redemption tour. He visited a lot of teams and said he evolved on many things about basketball from analytics to sports science and rest. Then Jimmy Butler, the man who just reported to Miami's training camp at 3:30 am, SIX HOURS BEFORE THE SCHEDULED START, said that Thibs needs to ease up with the workload in Minessota. 

It was clear the new generation of players such as KAT and Wiggins don7t respond to his style, and Thibs left Minessota. With Ryan Saunders at the helm, Andrew Wiggins made it clear what happened with his development under Thibs.

Coaching is a balancing act, where you have to set a culture that players should change to fit in to, but also know how to treat different people. Some players respond well to aggression and yelling, and others need an encouraging word on the sidelines. That last part was a bridge too far for Thibs. Wiggins had to throw this in (via Derek James):

"Yelling and screaming isn’t necessarily coaching"

Was Thibs a bully or Wiggins a sensitive millennial? Probably the truth is in the middle. But the critical thing to note is the consequence of player empowerment. In the old days, players needed to adapt to coaches. Today, it's the other way around. Adapt or die coaches.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan in action against the Boston Celtics

“They never won the championship when they had 28 teams and so much parity in the league” - Michael Jordan once dissed the Boston Celtics’ early championships

While the C's are always praised for being a historic franchise and having the most championships many, including Michael Jordan, feel there's a caveat in regards to their achievements.

(11) Dwight Howard, (10) Kobe Bryant, (6) LeBron James and (5)Jason Kidd react on the bench

"They're totally different as far as their personalities" - Dwight Howard on the biggest differences between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James

According to DH12, one preferred to be straightforward and quiet, while the other was the type to blast music and let his work do the talking.

LeBron James

LeBron James calls out the media for their treatment of Kyrie Irving compared to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones - "I was kind of disappointed"

LeBron calls out the media for having double standards when reporting about Kyrie Irving and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (right) and teammate Stephen Jackson (3) talk to each other

“How are we gonna explain this to Pop?” - How a bloody paintball match almost got Stephen Jackson and Tim Duncan in deep trouble

Fortunately, a busted lip was all the penalty Stephen Jackson had to endure for not following Gregg Popovich's instructions.

Houston Rockets' big man Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson

"We were the original 'Twin Towers'” - Ralph Samson on playing with Hakeem Olajuwon in the Houston Rockets

Ralph Sampson looked back at his legacy with Hakeem Olajuwon as the original "Twin Towers."