As part of their search for a new head coach, the Knicks intend to reach out to Villanova’s Jay Wright, a source close to the team tell Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. According to that source, members of the Knicks’ management group view Wright as an ideal candidate to lead the club’s rebuild. However, it will be difficult to pry him away from a great situation in Villanova, where he has won two national championships in the last three years.
“He told me years ago that he wanted to make Villanova into the Duke of the Northeast,” a person close to Wright told Isola. “It would take a lot for him to leave.”
Wright himself told Dana O’Neil of The Athletic just this week that he’s intrigued by the NBA, but can’t himself leaving Villanova, so any team interested in hiring him would likely need to make him its top target and blow him away with an offer.
Reports in the wake of Jeff Hornacek‘s dismissal late last night indicated that the Knicks also plan to contact Jerry Stackhouse, Mark Jackson, David Blatt, and David Fizdale about their newly-created job opening.
Here’s a little more on the Knicks’ coaching situation:
- There’s no shortage of ideas from media members for the next Knicks head coach — Ian Begley of ESPN, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News, Marc Berman of The New York Post, and Al Iannazzone of Newsday all share lists of potential targets for the club.
- According to Begley (Twitter link), multiple current Knicks players would be in favor of the team hiring Jeff Van Gundy. Begley adds that one coach with ties to Van Gundy believes the ABC analyst would have interest in the job if approached by the team.
- As Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News details, Knicks forward Michael Beasley felt that constant speculation about Hornacek’s job security put the head coach in a bad spot. “You get into a position where you’re doing things not to mess up,” Beasley said. “You’re thinking not to mess up, but at the end of the day you’re still thinking messing up. It’s tough but he played the hand he was dealt.”