Who will be the next Knicks coach?
The NBA season is winding down but it’s too early to think about the Knicks next future bust. It isn’t however too early to think about who will become the next head coach of the New York Knicks. Jeff Hornacek is on his way out after another disastrous season.
Hornacek has one year left on his contract but there’s very little hope that he will coach out his entire tenure. The Knicks are currently 27-49, good for 11th in the Eastern Conference. It’s actually impressive that the Knicks are clearly tanking yet aren’t even close to having the best odds for the #1 overall pick. Even if they had the best odds, they would probably wind up dropping to 4th and taking a random European.
This season isn’t all Hornacek’s fault due to the injury of Kristaps Porzingis but he doesn’t deserve a pass given his horrendous record as a head coach overall. The defense is porous, Trey Burke is the only player on the team with a pulse (even with all the young kids on the team) & the coach’s voice clearly isn’t reaching the team anymore.
There are a few options out there, but none too appealing. I don’t know how anyone would want to take on this job as it’s been a revolving door since Jeff Van Gundy left and the Knicks are overall a mess. Here are some candidates though that could move the needle.
The former Knicks point guard is the odds on favorite to become the head coach of the Knicks. He has had success before as a head coach and built the Golden State Warriors team that became a dynasty after Steve Kerr took over (yes it’s a dynasty). He is a no nonsense coach who will whip this team into shape and make them play defense.
The knock on Jackson is that he seems to have an abrasive personality. He is very religious, which isn’t a problem except there were allegations that he made prayer sessions mandatory and led with an iron fist. He also had a lot of problems with Warriors management, which is the last thing the Knicks need going forward.
Doc Rivers would be the next in line if he decides to leave the Clippers and join his former team as well. Rivers has a championship pedigree and has taken this year’s Clippers far beyond expectations after they traded away Blake Griffin. He is also a no nonsense coach who will make sure his team plays hard every game.
Rivers may not want to leave LA however for a few reasons. First, his son is on the team and if people think that’s a non factor they’re crazy. Unless Rivers finds a way to bring his son to NY he wouldn’t leave. In addition, Rivers has already built his legacy and doesn’t need the Knicks ruining it. The Clippers are built for the future and have many more pieces than the Knicks do.
This is a controversial pick but with Rick Pitino out at Louisville and the Knicks loving former college coaches, he could be the perfect guy for the job. He’s been in the NBA before no matter how long ago it was, and he is a former Knicks coach.
The problem with Pitino would be two fold; His NBA coaching prowess may not be at the level people want it to be. He hasn’t been in the league in decades and his offense and defensive schemes may not be up to snuff. On top of that, all the controversy that surrounds Pitino with his prostitution scandal will put an even bigger black eye on a franchise that most definitely does not need more bad publicity.
The Knicks have a lot of decisions to make in the offseason. Perry and Mills have to change the culture here and quick. Their star is unhappy, they haven’t made the playoffs in years, and the Knicks have been the biggest joke of a franchise as of late. They also have tendency to go after over the hill coaches such as Larry Brown and Kenny Wilkens. It’s an important decision, and hopefully this next coach will bring some stability to the team.