By some appearances, it looked like the New York Knicks were ready to turn over a new leaf. Rumors indicated that they had targeted Tom Thibodeau for the head coaching job going into next season, and while Thibodeau isn’t viewed as a perfect coach, he’s a former Knicks assistant who has a reputation for raising a team’s floor, something that is desperately needed in New York.
That, naturally, turned out to be short-lived. No sooner had those rumors emerged that they were followed by reports of the Knicks trying to low-ball Thibs during negotiations. But Knicks do, appear, to have a backup plan in place.
On Friday, the latest of New York was that they have now pegged Jason Kidd as a top choice to take over. Kidd, a former Knick, would reportedly be on a tight leash, however, and would be subject to having at least some of his staff picked for him by the organization.
The Knicks coaching search has turned messy with Jason Kidd emerging as a frontrunner after contract negotiations with Tom Thibodeau stalled, a plugged-in NBA source told the Daily News.
Kidd, an unquestioned Hall of Fame player, is viewed by the Knicks as a conduit to attracting free agents, but there are also people in the organization who are skeptical of his coaching ability following underwhelming stints in Brooklyn and Milwaukee. As a result, the Kidd hire would come with the caveat of the front office picking at least some of his assistant coaches.
Kidd is currently an assistant with the Lakers as they prepare for what they hope is a long postseason run in Orlando. According to the report, there is still some optimism that the Knicks could reach an agreement with Thibs, although it would entail him caving on some of his demands.
Kidd’s track record as a head coach hasn’t been without its controversy during both his stints in Brooklyn and Milwaukee, and sources for the Daily News say the Knicks’ choices for assistants to put in place could include Kenny Payne, Rod Strickland, and Mike Woodson, the latter of whom’s name has been brought up in conversations for the head coaching job of late.
(Via The New York Daily News)