Support Within Knicks’ Organization For Kenny Atkinson

Although Tom Thibodeau is widely viewed as the favorite to become the Knicks‘ next head coach, there’s “legitimate internal support” within the organization for former Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson, reports Ian Begley of

Thibodeau and Atkinson are among the candidates expected to interview for New York’s head coaching vacancy. Current interim coach Mike Miller and former Knicks coach Mike Woodson will also reportedly interview. It’s not clear yet whether the club will meet with additional candidates beyond those four, though Begley notes that Mark Jackson and Jason Kidd also have fans within the organization.

Atkinson was dismissed from his position with the Nets in March amidst rumors that the team was seeking a head coach more suited for a veteran contender, following Atkinson’s solid work during Brooklyn’s rebuild. His performance with the Nets could make him a good fit a rebuilding Knicks team, and the Long Island native has a history with the club, having been a Knicks assistant from 2008-12.

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer, who worked with Atkinson in Atlanta from 2013-16, endorsed his former assistant for the Knicks’ job, as Marc Berman of The New York Post details.

“I’d love to see him be coach of the Knicks,” Budenholzer told Berman. “It’s a great opportunity. He understands he’ll have a bunch of opportunities and situations. He’s had an amazing life with a great family. It would be a home run for him. There’s nothing like coaching the team you grew up with, he worked with. And with what they’re trying to do and where they are.

“… He’s just interesting because he’s so unique in that he is so true to player development and can really help players improve,” Budenholzer added. “The league has gotten a lot better with (development), but he’s one of the first — his ability doing it at a super-high level.”

Although the Knicks have reportedly begun their head coaching search, we haven’t gotten many updates on the process as of late and it’s not clear whether the team has set a timeline to make a hire.

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7 thoughts on “Support Within Knicks’ Organization For Kenny Atkinson

  1. Sillivan

    If I were Thib I would not take Knicks coaching job now

    This would be my last dance if Knicks are not able to sign good free agents

  2. wagner13

    Atkinson did a great job developing the youth in Brooklyn, such as Allen and Levert. I believe he’d be an excellent fit on a rebuilding squad such as the Knicks. He’ll foster the growth of Barrett and Robinson, while perhaps revitalizing minor busts such as Knox and Ntilikina. After all, he did help Russell turn it around after a bit of a disappointing start. Miller would be a solid assistant schematically. He seemed to handle himself well amidst the chaos and proved to be a players coach

    • MalikM98

      Agree 100% with this. Kenny seems to be the logical choice from the outside, so I expect him not to get the gig as this is the Knicks we’re talking about. There ain’t much logic found around MSG.

      • wagner13

        Lol yeah, they’ll probably end up hiring George Karl or someone comparably irrational

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Why is Thibs favorite. Cause a few writers write a story. So what he knows Rose. I’m sure he knows a lot of coaches. Woodson is insane. Anther butt kisser who failed miserably. I’ll never understand why teams recycle coaches. Definition of insanity : is doing same thing over n over again. Expecting a different result.
    No Calipari, no JVG, no Woodson. I’m on fence with Thibs. But I could take him. Jackson, Atkinson, Thibs in that order for me.
    All three understand NYC is a unique place. All three understand the BS in NYC. All 3 have something to prove, after being let go. All three have never coached the Knicks. The rebuild and development of players. Has to be first. Of course you can have an eye on the future. Big FA signing, or a major trade. But you can’t scrap the rebuild. The moves you make have to be part or in tune with the rebuild. For instance you get a major step n gd production. From DSJ, Knox, Frank, Payton, Mitch. Plus our three picks this yr. Now we have assets and talent to make a major move or two. For a rising star. Just imagine where we would be today. If we signed DRuss. To a FA contract. Instead of Portis, Taj, Ellington, Randle, Bullock (hardly played). Trier and Dotson who could be gd rotation guys. We didn’t develop and now are FA and gone. All those players are probably gone. We could of had D Russell at PG. With RJ at the 2. With Mitch in middle. The future would be looking real good now. And we would definitely have 2021 FA wanting to come here. I was screaming for DRuss. If you don’t have big ones working for NYK. You will sell out and fail. Please stay the course of Rebuild. We need a good draft first.

  4. Sillivan

    If Knicks really like Ball,Warriors wolves Hawks can help

    Ceiling for Mitch and Barrett is role players?

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