Marc Berman of the New York Post offered some insight on the matter.
“Sources have indicated Thibodeau has been most offended by claims he mistreated Walker, who eventually shut it down at the All-Star break, and accusations he’s stunted [Obi] Toppin’s growth because of a lack of playing time,” Berman wrote.
Thibodeau is nearing the end of his second season as head coach of the Knicks. Last season, he led the team to a 41-31 record as well as a spot in the playoffs.
Entering the 2021-22 season, Knicks fans hoped to see their team have a solid campaign and possibly deliver a strong playoff run.
Instead, the Knicks have regressed this season and have a 32-42 record. With just eight games left in the regular season, the Knicks would need a miracle simply to reach the postseason.
Since that has a very low chance of happening, Thibodeau’s handling of the team has become a point of criticism for some.
That criticism is connected in part to Walker’s role. This year, Walker played in only 37 games before he was shut down for the season in February.
Some fans expected big things of Walker when he joined the Knicks during the offseason. However, his health and shaky play resulted in averages of just 11.6 points, 3.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds per contest.
Thibodeau would certainly much rather focus on the remaining games for the Knicks, with games on consecutive days starting on Sunday. The first matchup is a road contest against the Detroit Pistons, which will be followed by a Monday clash against the Chicago Bulls at home.