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Who is Dice Yoshimoto? Meet the surprise New York Knicks Summer League coach

Joshua Rogers August 14, 2021
who is dice yoshimoto

Dice Yoshimoto is taking charge of the New York Knicks during the NBA Summer League this year. He is only the second Asian-American to be a head coach in any capacity in the NBA, and so naturally people want to know more about him.

Dice Yoshimoto makes history in NBA Summer League

On Friday night, the Detroit Pistons, led by number 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham, beat the New York Knicks 91-87 at Thomas & Mack Center.

Daisuke “Dice” Yoshimoto is coaching the New York Knicks in the Summer League this year, becoming only the second Asian-American to be a head coach in any capacity in the NBA.

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Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra remains the only Asian-American head coach in the NBA.

However, other NBA coaches around with Asian heritage include Portland Trail Blazers’ Jonathan Yim, and Los Angeles Clippers/Agua Calientes’ Natalie Nakase

Who is Dice Yoshimoto?

Last year, sources confirmed that Dice Yoshimoto had finalized a deal to join Tom Thibodeau’s coaching staff in New York. 

Yoshimoto had worked on Thibodeau’s staff before. The 40-year-old has been described as being Coach Tib’s right-hand man since his Chicago days, when he was a video coordinator.

Yoshimoto started his basketball career by playing Division III basketball.

He received a bachelor’s degree in Sports, Event, and Entertainment Management from Johnson and Wales University, and a Master’s degree in Education from Fordham in 2008.

After a few years, he joined Thibs in Chicago as head video coordinator.

When the Bulls fired Thibodeau, Dice transferred to the Denver Nuggets and worked under Coach Malone.

He linked up again with Thibodeau in Minnesota in 2019, before working with Georgia Bulldogs as their director of basketball strategy and video.

He then rejoined Thibodeau in New York where he currently works as an Assistant to the Head Coach.

Dice speaks out on Summer League role

To everyone’s surprise, Yoshimoto was named the Knicks’ Summer League coach last weekend.

The Knicks are 2-2 so far, with a loss to the Raptors followed up by wins over the Pacers and Lakers, before that loss to Detroit.

Coach Thibs will obviously be back at the Knicks helm once the regular season comes around, but Dice has taken the opportunity with both hands.

“I think [diversity] is important,’’ Yoshimoto said before the Detroit game.

“At the same time I’m focused on getting better. I just want to be the best coach that I can be.

“I’m just fortunate to be able to learn from guys like coach Thibs over the years. I learn from everybody. I started with coach Mike Fratello and Lawrence Frank and coach Thibs for a long time. Also, coach Mike Malone, I had a chance to work for him before in Denver.

“Two years ago, I had the chance to work in college for coach Tom Crean. Obviously, this is a great opportunity for me to get better,” Yoshimoto said.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.