Despite interim Knicks head coach Mike Miller leading New York to a solid 13-19 record during his brief tenure with the team, incoming president of basketball operations Leon Rose will reportedly consider some starrier names for his bench during the 2020 offseason.
Tom Thibodeau and Jeff Van Gundy are among the coaches expected to be on the short list for the Knicks’ head coaching job during the 2020/2021 season, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.
Van Gundy, currently an analyst for ABC and ESPN, last coached the Rockets during the 2006/2007 season. Both are assistants for USA Basketball. Van Gundy, 58, was a Knicks assistant coach from 1989-1996 before taking the reigns as head coach during the 1995/1996 season.
As the Knicks’ head coach, Van Gundy led the team from 1996-2001, compiling a 257-172 record. His biggest success arrived when he took the Knicks to the 1999 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Spurs. Van Gundy was also a successful head coach with the Tracy McGrady/Yao Ming-era Houston Rockets from 2003-2007.
Thibodeau last coached the Timberwolves for part of the 2018/19 season. He also simultaneously served as team president. Thibodeau, 62, served under Van Gundy in New York starting in 1996, and remained as an assistant coach for the Knicks until 2004.
As a head coach, Thibodeau led the Derrick Rose/Joakim Noah-era Chicago Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011, and the Timberwolves to their first playoff berth in 13 years circa 2018. He won the NBA’s Coach of the Year award in 2011. As an associate head coach under Doc Rivers, Thibodeau helped the Celtics to the 2008 title. Thibodeau has done some analyst work for ESPN since his 2019 departure from the Timberwolves.