Community Shootaround: Knicks’ Coaching Search

While they may not be the only team looking to hire a permanent head coach this summer or fall, the Knicks are currently the only club actively going through the search process and interviewing potential candidates, as our tracker shows.

And there’s no shortage of potential candidates on the Knicks’ list. In addition to interim head coach Mike Miller, who will interview for the full-time position, the team is reportedly speaking to 10 other contenders for the job. It’s a diverse group, ranging from noteworthy former NBA head coaches to little-known assistants who may not have interviewed for a head coaching job before.

Atop the list is Tom Thibodeau, the former Bulls and Timberwolves coach who has been reported for weeks as the presumptive frontrunner for the Knicks’ vacancy. Thibodeau may not seem like the most obvious fit for a young, rebuilding team, but his long-standing connections to new Knicks executives Leon Rose and William Wesley may give him a leg up.

There are plenty of other viable candidates though. There’s reportedly support within the organization for Kenny Atkinson, who showed in Brooklyn that he’s capable of developing young players and turning a lottery team into a playoff club. In terms of familiar faces, Miller did good work after replacing David Fizdale in December, and Mike Woodson had success during his last stint in New York.

Jason Kidd and Mike Brown are the other candidates with head coaching experience on the Knicks’ list. Brown has a 66-win season and an NBA Finals appearance on his résumé, while Kidd has a good reputation among players.

Among the assistant coaches interviewing for the job, some are more well-known than others. This group consists of Ime Udoka, Chris Fleming, Pat Delany, Will Hardy, and Jamahl Mosley. Of those five, Udoka is probably widely considered the strongest head coaching candidate — he has interviewed for multiple openings in the past, and is viewed as a probable candidate for the Bulls job if they replace Jim Boylen.

We want to know what you think. Which of the Knicks’ candidates would be the best choice to be the team’s next head coach? Should the team opt for someone with previous head coaching experience, such as Thibodeau or Atkinson? Or would you rather see New York choose an up-and-coming assistant such as Udoka? Are there any coaches not on the Knicks’ list that you believe they should be talking to?

Head to the comment section below to weigh in with your thoughts on the Knicks’ head coaching search!

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17 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Knicks’ Coaching Search

  1. donkeygym

    Kenny Atkinson. Develop a young team, great communicator, former a Knick coach highly thought of. Can Thibs bring in a big FA? Are the Knicks a viable option for THE BROW this offseason?!

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      I think he died after having his shins shot off during World War II.

  2. wildboys

    I like Atkinson, Kidd and Udoka.

    Kenny has shown he can develop.

    Kidd has the ability to relate to players and the clout to draw some poss. even Giannis

    Udoka comes from the San Antonio pipeline and they have a winning philosophy

    Wonder if Coach K might finally be willing to give it a go in the NBA. If only we had Zion.

  3. Sillivan

    Mike Brown is a playoffs winner

    Kidd has a chance to bring up Giannis to Knicks

    The deep concern is that how can the Knicks wear a win now hat?

    More and more teams will tank for 2021 and 2022 picks

  4. greg1

    Atkinson makes sense if the Knicks fully buy into the youth movement this offseason. Right now they’re half in, half out. They have youngsters like Barrett and Mitchell, but also too many older players on 1+1’s. If the team moves on from them and focuses on the draft and a younger FA or two, Kenny would be the right choice.

    If the plan is to make their first move(s) toward contention this offseason, I would go with J Kidd. I don’t believe that he tips the scales for the Knicks to land Giannis, but he has the ability to relate to players, and could potentially develop either Frank or another younger PG if the Knicks more established moves happen at other positions.

  5. adrenalynn

    KA would be my choice. He has proven he can develop young players, and I think he could help Knox and Barrett and possibly even salvage Ntilikina.

    I am not a fan of Kidd the person. Consider this your daily reminder that he is a known wife-beater and a drunk driver.

    • Sillivan

      No one should offer Kidd head coach job

      He would be the most valuable coach if he bring up Giannis
      Lakers sign LeBron for free
      Clippers sign Kawhi for free

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    I like KA too. But I see this administration going for proven experience. It’s why Thibs is talked about so much. They should keep Miller on bench. Thibs is a solid choice. He knows what he’s getting into. Mike Brown has also developed young players. He like Thibs has something to prove. I’m just pretty sure they sign Thibs. Best to get coach before draft.

  7. El Don

    Why so many candidates? IMO shows they haven’t got a clue what they are doing! They should have 1 candidate, go get it… if it fails go for plan b or c.
    All this due diligence teams always talk is a whole lot of BS.
    You should know who you want way before any interviews.
    Pick 1 guy stick with it.
    BTW J-Kidd is overwhelmingly the best of all those guys… only problem is… does he wanna leave the best team in the league, albeit as an assistant HC, for the NYK?
    Not sure about that, but he should be the #1 option for any team looking for a HC, guy is a legend!

  8. swaggerbox

    If they end up with Thibs, it means the Knicks will forego rebuilding and go all-in. trade for CP. Sign Gasol/Ibaka, and others.

  9. Aoriente

    Kenny Atkinson is the most reasonable choice with Miller as associated coach.

  10. Sillivan

    None of these coaches are good,I don’t want any of them
    The point is that who can bring up free agent stars

    • x%sure

      You say that after prioritizing your own opinion of them in the preceding sentence, contradicting yourself, ignoring that some coaches project to be better at drawing stars than others.

  11. KnickerbockerAl

    No FA is coming to NYK. Unless they see a future and talent here. There are no big FA next yr. So it means you have a yr. To build a team with direction. To at least go after one. Knicks have plenty of assets to make a trade. So if they sign Woods trade Randle. Just that alone plus three nice picks. Gets them in right direction. An experienced coach can build that into 8 seed. Makes us a young playoff team going up. There are players that can be traded. Knicks are in a good place. 2-3 yrs with right picks and trade n signings. They could be in contention. Bucks now have cap issues. Sixers have chemistry issues. Raptors getting old. Celtics are probably Team of future. Knicks are youngest team in the league. I like we’re we are. And I’m good with Thibs

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