The New York Knicks are still in the middle of finding their next head coach after the firing of David Fizdale in 2019. The hiring of Leon Rose has changed the direction of the organization, as he brings good connections across the league from his former position as a super agent for CAA.
The next head coach for the Knicks is a significant deal, as Tom Thibodeau and Kenny Atkinson remain in play. Thibodeau is the favorite, as reports have indicated he’s begun his film research regarding the team, but Atkinson shouldn’t be overlooked.
A rumor that Atkinson had been interviewed for the third time could indicate the Knicks’ extended interest in the former Brooklyn head coach. He received glowing reviews from one former player, Jarrett Allen.
In other news, it appears @DaRealBootum's incessant stanning may be working: I'm hearing the Knicks interviewed Kenny Atkinson again yesterday.
Not sure what this means for Thibs' or New York's timeline. Stay tuned. https://t.co/8utI36qpaB
— Jonathan Macri (@JCMacriNBA) July 21, 2020
According to the New York Post, Allen stated:
“[Atkinson would bring] what he brought with us,” Allen said Thursday via Zoom. “We came in — or I came into the Nets — and we weren’t making our mark in the NBA.
“You could see every year that I was with him, and every year that he coached us, we kept getting better and better, and the players that were under him kept developing and developing and bringing us more confidence. So whatever team he goes to, they’re going to get a hell of a coach.”
Allen went on to say that he was “a hell of a coach” and while it would be “weird” for him to be on the Knicks, he has the ability to take a team to the next level.
The New York Knicks have a bevy of young talented players in RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson. It would be ignorant to forget about Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina, two players that have underwhelmed but hold the potential for more.
Atkinson’s history in developing youngsters and the understanding of the New York media market could be an essential factor in his candidacy. Thibodeau, who spent five seasons in Chicago, lead them to the playoffs every year, and he also performed well with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Knicks are in the middle of a serious rebuild, and both Atkinson and Thibodeau are fantastic head-coaching options.