Knicks Hire Kenny Payne As Assistant Coach

The Knicks have formally announced the first addition to Tom Thibodeau‘s new staff, confirming in a press release that they’ve hired Kentucky associate head coach Kenny Payne as an assistant. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the hiring.

Payne, who has been a member of John Calipari‘s Wildcats staff for the last decade, has strong relationships with new Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose and executive VP William Wesley, Wojnarowski notes.

“I’m thrilled that Kenny has joined my staff as an assistant coach. He has an outstanding ability to forge relationships with players and improve their skills,” Thibodeau said in a statement. “He knows what it takes to win and has learned from one of the best coaches there is in John Calipari. Kenny will be a tremendous addition to our organization.”

Before being hired by Kentucky in 2010, Payne was an assistant with the Oregon Ducks. He also played basketball professionally before beginning his coaching career, spending a few seasons with the Sixers from 1989-93.

As we noted over the weekend when discussing the Knicks’ interest in Payne, the longtime college assistant 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 at Kentucky.

Mike Woodson and Mike Miller are among the other coaches rumored to be candidates to join Thibodeau’s staff.

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12 thoughts on “Knicks Hire Kenny Payne As Assistant Coach

      • x%sure

        Yes, developing Towns is not a great credential. He’s mostly talent. So is everyone else at UK. Tell me about developing Obi Toppin!

        • x%sure

          *edit* Toppin is talented too but he started out more modestly. Gotta be ranked to get to UKentucky.

  1. Sillivan

    Trade future picks for Simmons to help 76ers save huge tax

    Offer Ingram 4 years 140 million contract
    It would be a mistake for Pelicans to overpay Ingram

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Get a grip Lavar. Booker is not gonna get traded. Simmons is not gonna get traded. NO ain’t letting Ingram walk. And LaBust is not coming to NYK while Thibs is here. He’s a D first coach.
    Oh Yeah ….. Minny ain’t trading KAT. They just gave up Wiggins to bring in his bud Russell. Why do all rumors involve the Knicks. We done squat for las 20 yrs. Yet all players are coming here. We are signing all FA. Kind of like Lavar here posts all the time.
    New coach is good signing. Obviously he’s here for Knox and Randle. Knox can still become a player just turned 21. Randle probably getting moved. If he would stop the iso and pass the ball. He could be a starter here. But Thibs ain’t playing anyone who don’t play D. So build his value and trade is what I see.
    Don’t forget AD has only one yr left. So we can start those rumors too now. All in all this is a good pickup for NYK

    • Noel1982

      Look for Davis to hit 2022 free agency instead of next year , hell be eligible for the 10 year max and maybe in two more years Knicks will be a solid back of the bracket playoff team ! He’s not gonna sign there if they are a lotto team that needs him just to get to the playoffs

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    AD is leaving Lakers after next yr imo. Bron will be 39 after next yr going on 40. AD is going to a contender. I doubt Knicks can get that good that quick. But you never know with a solid trade. They can be a 6th seed after a yr of Thibs also. But I’m good just building thru youth. I’m taking it one yr at time. Giannis and AD will be FA in same yr. That can really shake up the NBA.

    • El Don

      Just sayin’ but LBJ is only 35, so after next season he will be only 36, not 39 goin’ on 40.
      AD will stay in LAL, that’s for sure!

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Yeah thanks got that wrong. He’ll be 36 this Dec. saw that with Mello. Both came out same yr. Mybad. Still he is not winning this yr. aAnd will be 36-37 next yr. Warriors are back for next 3 yrs. Point is LA are not favorites. And Bron aging don’t help. AD I guess is suppose to carry on Laker tradition. But after two yrs. there is not much here. Unless he wants to carry Bron lol. I’m just talking facts

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