While the NBA’s playoff teams opened their respective series over the weekend, the Knicks moved forward with their search for a new head coach, lining up interviews with a list of candidates that includes David Fizdale, David Blatt, Jerry Stackhouse, Mark Jackson, and Mike Woodson.
For Fizdale to become a serious candidate for the Knicks, the former Grizzlies coach will have to explain what happened with Marc Gasol in Memphis, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. The relationship between the Grizzlies’ star center and head coach fell apart by the end of Fizdale’s tenure with the team, and the Knicks can’t afford to have a similar situation happen in New York — after multiple players clashed with Jeff Hornacek, hiring a coach who has “connectivity with the locker room” is a top priority for the Knicks, Berman says.
As for Blatt, he was a former Princeton teammate of Steve Mills, and the Knicks president is the one pushing Blatt’s candidacy in the club’s search process, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. According to Bondy, it’s “hard to imagine” that GM Scott Perry is as bullish on Blatt, so if the former Cavs coach gets the job, it will be “entirely on Mills.”
Here’s more on the Knicks:
- Mills and Perry spoke recently about being approached by Knicks fans who want them to be patient with the rebuilding process, and the front office duo insists owner James Dolan is on board with that approach too (link via Ian Begley of ESPN.com). “Jim has given us the room to be patient, which – again – is not something that’s been common in this organization,” Mills said. “Patience hasn’t been one of our biggest attributes here. … I don’t have any doubt that he’s comfortable with the plan we’re on and (that he) wants us to be patient and not do things that are just, you know, for the quick hit.”
- Perry was hired the Knicks after many of last year’s offseason moves had already been made, so what he does with the roster this summer will tell us a lot about his plan for the franchise going forward, says Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders.
- Al Iannazzone of Newsday takes an in-depth look at what’s next for the Knicks as the offseason gets underway, and examines which of this year’s players will – or won’t – be back for the 2018/19 season.