Knicks Considering Mike Woodson, Kenny Payne As Assistants

Former Knicks head coach Mike Woodson and Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne are receiving strong consideration as Tom Thibodeau puts together his staff in New York, writes Adam Zagoria of Forbes.

The Woodson move appears to be “virtually done,” sources tell Zagoria, although nothing has been announced. Woodson has head coaching experience with both the Hawks and Knicks and led New York to its last postseason trip in 2013. He last coached as an assistant with the Clippers from 2014-18.

Woodson, 62, got an endorsement this week from former Knicks coach David Fizdale on Sirius XM NBA Radio.

“You know, it’s not an easy place to work, it’s not an easy place to coach,” Fizdale said. “There’s a lot of different things that swirl around the team and that’s just what comes with being the New York Knicks. And so because Woody successfully navigated that and really understands the dynamic of New York and New York City I think he’s really going to be of huge value to Thibs in that situation. And Woody can flat out coach and so that’s where he’s also going to help him is from that standpoint on his own accord.”

Payne is currently “weighing an offer” from the Knicks, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium. The 53-year-old has ties to both newly hired executive William “World Wide Wes” Wesley and team president Leon Rose. Payne is known for developing big men, including Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns. He also worked with Knicks forwards Julius Randle and Kevin Knox while they were with the Wildcats.

“KP is one of the best development coaches in the world,” Towns said last year. “KP is the horse beneath the jockey driving Kentucky basketball.”  

Mike Miller, who served as the Knicks’ interim coach after Fizdale was fired, is also being considered for a spot on Thibodeau’s staff, according to Corey Hersch of

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3 thoughts on “Knicks Considering Mike Woodson, Kenny Payne As Assistants

  1. Sillivan

    For Knicks

    Draft picks are not enough to make playoffs
    Trade needs assets,Knicks have little assets
    Only free agents can help them make playoffs

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    You must not know. They have have 3 picks in top 37 picks this yr draft. They have 4 #1 picks following 2 yrs. They have young players. And two of top 2, 20 yr olds in NBA. In RJ n Mitch. That’s the definition of assets. Do you understand why pro leagues have drafts. It don’t seem you do. You don’t make trades or sign FA. Just cause you can. You need direction. That you get thru draft, young core. Knicks have never built thru draft. Not even in Ewing days. Not since Teed and Frazier. Look that up. Dolan has always been about quick fix. Like you think you can. Give Thibs 2 yrs and he will have a direction. And a playoff team. One more draft and we will be close. With Knicks it’s all about this draft.
    Woodson is not a gd choice. Let’s go forward not backward. Miller should come back. The most interesting thing now is. Who will Thibs go for. And will they still go after Woods. I don’t see Knicks going after FA. Next yr is the yr to go after a FA.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      That’s Reed and Frazier. That’s 66-69. Yeah that long ago. The draft got Bellamy, Bradley, Russell, Reed, Frazier, . This is last time they won Title.

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