After getting off to a surprisingly solid start to their season behind the play of centerpiece Kristaps Porzingis, the New York Knicks fizzled out as the season wore on.
Though some of that can be attributed to Porzingis’ season-ending ACL surgery, the Knicks still deemed a head coaching change a necessity and fired Jeff Hornacek after two seasons with the club. With the regular season now concluded, the Knicks can delve deep into their coaching hunt and their list of candidates doesn’t have a shortage of splashy names. Following from NY Daily News’ Frank Isola:
Wright, Mark Jackson, Doc Rivers, Jerry Stackhouse, Craig Robinson, Jeff Van Gundy, David Blatt and David Fizdale are all considered candidates to replace Jeff Hornacek, who was fired early Thursday morning after two years on the bench. The Knicks also fired associate head coach Kurt Rambis.
Of course of that list, Doc Rivers is the one that stands out considering he already has a job and likely won’t be going anywhere despite speculation. Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, David Blatt, and David Fizdale are all solid head coaching candidates that have at least some degree of experience and could hopefully provide a franchise constantly in turmoil with some consistency.
Villanova’s Jay Wright may be the most intriguing candidate in the sense that he’s fresh off a championship win and looking to possibly jump to the NBA. Though not loaded with talent, the Knicks and Wright could be an interesting partnership considering they have at least some young talent to work with.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski also reports that the Knicks are interested in 43-year-old Jerry Stackhouse as well.
Sources: Another candidate Knicks planning to contact: Jerry Stackhouse, coach of Toronto G League affiliate. https://t.co/uPrirlLPS8
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 12, 2018
Stackhouse, the 19-year vet, is also in the running for the vacant head coaching job in Orlando. Stackhouse coached this season in the NBA G-League and is considered one of the better young options available. Whichever route the Knicks ultimately decided to take, the coach will certainly have his work cut out for him.