Add a new name to the New York Knicks‘ head coaching search: Ime Udoka.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Knicks plan to interview Udoka to be their new head coach. Udoka is currently an assistant coach under Brett Brown with the Philadelphia 76ers.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 17, 2020
Prior to the 2019-20 season, Udoka spent eight seasons as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs.
Udoka is the fifth coach the Knicks have expressed interest in. They’re expected to interview interim Mike Miller, former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau, former Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson and Mike Woodson, who was head coach of the Knicks from 2012-14.
Udoka played eight seasons in the NBA. He spent those seasons with the Knicks, Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers. Udoka appeared in eight games for the Knicks in the 2005-06 season.
The New York Knicks aren’t the only ones in on Udoka:
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reported last week that Udoka is the “frontrunner” to take over for Jim Boylen as head coach of the Chicago Bulls.
The Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale and lead assistant Keith Smart 22 games into the regular season. Miller was promoted to interim head coach, and the Knicks went 17-27 under his command.
They finished the truncated 2019-20 season 21-45. Prior to their season’s conclusion, the Knicks fired president Steve Mills. He was replaced with former agent Leon Rose, who retained general manager Scott Perry. The Knicks have since hired Walt Perrin, formerly of the Utah Jazz, as their assistant general manager.
Hiring a head coach is New York’s first order of business this offseason. Simultaneously, they have three selections in the 2020 NBA Draft: their own first and second-round pick and the Los Angeles Clippers’ first-round pick, acquired in a midseason trade that sent forward Marcus Morris to the West Coast. The Knicks are also projected to have upwards of $30 million in cap space.