The Athletic- The New York Knicks and president of basketball operations Leon Rose will soon embark on the search process for a new head coach and Tom Thibodeau is atop the list of targets, sources told The Athletic. The Knicks are believed to be targeting a decision in the next few weeks, sources said.
Interim coach Mike Miller has left a strong impression throughout the franchise, including in his time since Rose assumed control of the front office. Miller is expected to receive an interview when the Knicks do start formally talking to prospective head coaches, according to league sources, after stabilizing the team following a 4-18 start that led to David Fizdale’s firing.
Former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson likely will also receive an interview, sources said. Atkinson and the Nets parted ways in March with the team at 28-34 and on the way to the postseason during a difficult fourth season at the helm.
This is fine, I guess. I've seen coaches with better and worse resumes than Tom Thibodeau's take over the Knicks at Occupied MSG during James Dolan's reign of tenure and perform well below their career expectations. There is no denying that Thibs has proven he can potentially get the best out of talented players like RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson. He may grind their bodies and souls into dust like Thanos while doing so.
But Thibs did get results while in Chicago, is a defensive coach that was a Knicks assistant in the 90s and early 2000s before the team became a roaring dumpster fire (which I am always a sucker for), and said the Knicks were his dream job before they passed up on him for Jeff Hornacek. Whether or not Thibs said that because he knew he could cash in a fat check on his way to a few losing seasons before being fired is up in the air. But there is no denying his laugh is that of a video game final boss that demands nothing but the best from his minions.
Kenny Atkinson is clearly a coach that can help develop a young team into a winner in New York considering he just did in Brooklyn, which gives him bonus points in my book since the 10 or so Nets fans in the area would be LIVID if Atkinson thrived at The Garden. Being an ear wax eater however is a huge red flag in my book.
I think Mike Miller has done a fine job as coach and continued to show why he won G League Coach Of The Year a few seasons ago, even though part of that may be the simple improvement of David Fizdale no longer coaching this year's team like a drunk 2K player with one eye open at 3 in the morning. I'm not sure if he's the guy that can lead the Knicks back to anything resembling prominence, but I also am not sure he definitely isn't, which is SOMETHING, right? Regardless of what happens, I do hope Miller stays on in some capacity whether he is head coach or not.
In the end, I am putting my faith in Leon Rose to make the right decision just because I have no other choice. However, the fact that the one coach that was able to keep Steph and Klay out of the NBA Finals the last 5 years isn't on the Knicks wish list is a huge positive in my book.