The New York Knicks go through coaches like no one else, and last week, the franchise decided it was time to go in another direction once again. David Fizdale, who was hired prior to the 2018-19 campaign, got the boot amid the team’s sluggish start, which led to the promotion of assistant coach Mike Miller in the interim and the kicking off of their latest coaching search.
Oddsmakers believes a pair of television broadcasters who know a thing about hoops in the Big Apple are the favorites to land the gig, but Stephen A. Smith of ESPN claims that another guy with some ties to the franchise might be in pole position for the job. Smith told Fat Joe on Tuesday’s edition of First Take that ex-Knick and current Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd is being viewed as a candidate with a shot, and because it’s the Knicks, it has to do with his perceived ability to land a superstar.
“Let me tell you what’s circulating in the NBA,” Smith said. “Although the Knicks deny this, but I gotta tell both of you. Jason Kidd is potentially a preferred candidate, because Jason Kidd — who coached one year in Brooklyn before leaving for Milwaukee … he’s known for developing guys. Their belief is that Giannis, when he was fired in Milwaukee, Giannis was ticked off and wanted to leave. So by getting him to New York it potentially gives them a better shot at Giannis.”
Smith alludes to the fact that Kidd’s head coaching experience came in Brooklyn and Milwaukee, and that when the Bucks fired him, Antetokounmpo was reportedly distraught. Kidd was also viewed as a candidate to take over the Lakers this past offseason before the job went to Frank Vogel, who added Kidd to his staff.
As for whether this was a good idea, New York has banked on “X will lead to us getting a big-name free agent” in the past, and this hasn’t exactly been a successful strategy. Antetokounmpo could become an unrestricted free agent in 2021 if he does not sign the supermax extension Milwaukee plans on giving him at 12:01 a.m. on July 1, 2020, and should he opt not to put pen to paper, he’d immediately become the biggest name on the market 365 days later.
The Knicks are hell-bent on getting a star, and once 2021 rolls around, there won’t be a bigger one than Giannis. As for whether giving a head coaching job to Kidd is the best way to pitch a franchise to him, well, only time can tell if that’s a path New York wants to explore.