The Knicks coaching search is the biggest storyline in the NBA that doesn’t involve the playoffs or a playoff team right now. Because New York is in the market it is and has the money it does, the Knicks figure to be the first domino to fall among the NBA’s various coaching searches because, from a financial standpoint, no job offers more.
Milwaukee will be the most coveted job, but they’re still playing for another week at least and New York will almost assuredly be the most lucrative job filled this summer. So for now, they have the attention of candidates like David Fizdale, Jerry Stackhouse, Mark Jackson, David Blatt, and, yes, Mike Woodson who are all reportedly scheduled for interviews soon. Stackhouse and Fizdale are both highly sought after, so other teams will have to compete with a potential New York offer for either of their services, and Jackson seems to always pop up this time of year around coaching vacancies.
One name that was floated early on as a possibility for the Knicks has quietly faded out of contention, as Jackson’s fellow ESPN analyst and former Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy has received no real interest from the team, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.
As Begley notes in his story, team president Steve Mills has harped on the next coach of the Knicks needing to be able to relate to “today’s players.” For a coach that hasn’t been in the league for well over a decade, it’s understandable to question if Van Gundy would be that guy.
That said, one of the reasons Van Gundy has found himself as more of a legitimate candidate this year than normal (when he’s almost always thrown out as a “potential candidate” each offseason) is his performance with Team USA in World Cup qualifying and the FIBA AmeriCup last year with players that were all from the G League.
It appears, though, that Van Gundy will continue to spend time in the booth rather than on the bench, at least when it comes to his former team.