Home Sports Breaking down all 11 candidates for Knicks’ head-coaching job

Breaking down all 11 candidates for Knicks’ head-coaching job

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With their season officially over, the Knicks are back in the market for a head coach and have 11 known candidates lined up for interviews. There is a wide range of experience, backgrounds and connections to the organization, with president Leon Rose looking for someone who can take the Knicks “from development to becoming a perennial winner.”

The Post’s Greg Joyce takes a look at who Rose will be talking to during the process he hopes to wrap up over the next month:

Bio: The pride of Northport, Long Island, got his first NBA head coaching gig with the Nets in 2016 and saw them through some of their toughest years before delivering the payoff with a surprise trip to the playoffs in 2019. His work was mentioned by Kevin Durant as a reason he signed with the Nets last offseason, but Atkinson never got a chance to coach him after getting fired in March. The 53-year-old felt his voice was no longer being heard and reportedly failed to connect with Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Known for: Player development is the calling card of the gym rat with a competitive fire.

Knicks connections: Besides being a client of Creative Artists Agency — whose basketball division Rose headed — Atkinson was a Knicks assistant from 2008-12.

Mike Brown
Mike BrownNBAE via Getty Images

Mike Brown

Bio: Brown spent five years as the head coach of LeBron James and the Cavaliers, racking up a 305-187 record and going to the playoffs each year. They were Eastern Conference champions in 2007 but got swept by the Spurs in the NBA Finals. He was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2009, but was fired in 2010 after an early playoff exit. Brown was hired as the Lakers’ head coach in 2011, and they made the playoffs in his first season, but he was canned five games into the second season. The 50-year-old was then rehired by the Cavs for one season in 2013. Since 2016, Brown has been on the Warriors’ staff, at times filling in for Steve Kerr during his back injury.

Known for: Experienced coach with a strong defensive acumen.

Knicks connections: Interviewed for the Knicks’ job in 2018 before it went to David Fizdale.

Bio: For the past six years, Delany has been an assistant on Steve Clifford’s coaching staff — with the Hornets from 2014-18 and the Magic the past two years. He also handled head-coaching duties for the Magic’s 2019 summer league team. The 2002 Saint Anselm College grad began his NBA career as a video intern for the Celtics before spending 11 years in the Heat organization as a video intern, video coordinator and advance scout. Also has head-coaching experience from a season with the Heat’s G-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

Known for: Is entrusted with the Magic’s late-game strategy, per ESPN.

Knicks connections: Has been coaching under Clifford, a former Knicks assistant, and was reportedly considered for Fizdale’s staff in 2018.

Kenny Atkinson, Tom Thibodeau and Mike Woodson
Kenny Atkinson, Tom Thibodeau and Mike WoodsonAP; Getty Images; Anthony J. Causi

Bio: A college teammate of Atkinson’s at Richmond, Fleming became the top assistant coach for the Bulls in 2019 after spending three years as an assistant for Atkinson and the Nets. The New Jersey product played professionally in Germany before becoming a coach there. The 50-year-old came back stateside in 2014 and worked as a member of the Spurs’ staff in the NBA summer league (with Will Hardy, for head coach Ime Udoka) before joining the Nuggets’ staff as an assistant for the 2015-16 season.

Known for: An offensive mind who is a strong communicator and teacher.

Knicks connections: None.

Bio: The youngest member of this list, the 32-year-old Hardy is viewed as a possible future successor to Gregg Popovich with the Spurs. He has been Popovich’s assistant coach since 2016 and has worked in the organization for 10 years, starting as a basketball operations intern and working his way up. Hardy served as the team’s summer league coach from 2015-18 and was also Team USA’s video coordinator for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Known for: Smart basketball mind who has had his hand in many different aspects of the game.

Knicks connections: None.

Jason Kidd
Jason KiddNBAE via Getty Images

Bio: After playing point guard for 19 seasons in a Hall of Fame career, Kidd was immediately hired as the head coach of the Nets in 2013. They went 44-38 that season and beat the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs before being eliminated. Kidd then tried to seize more power in the front office, but the failed coup backfired, leading to him being traded to Milwaukee for two second-round picks. The 47-year-old helped turn around the Bucks, with a pair of playoff appearances before being fired in 2018. Last summer, Kidd joined the Lakers as an assistant coach.

Known for: Playing a role in the success of Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Knicks connections: Kidd ended his playing career in a Knicks uniform, playing for Mike Woodson in 2012-13.

Bio: Before the 2019-20 season, Miller was a longtime college coach who had become a G-League assistant with the Spurs then took over as the Westchester Knicks’ head coach in 2015. The 2017-18 G-League Coach of the Year joined Fizdale’s staff as an assistant in 2019, only to be thrust into the spotlight in December when he was named the interim coach upon Fizdale’s firing. Miller, 55, led the Knicks to a 17-27 record before COVID-19 suspended the season.

Known for: A player development background and his professionalism as the voice of the organization.

Knicks connections: Interim coach for the final 44 games this season.

Jamahl Mosley
Jamahl MosleyAP

Bio: Mosley is in his fifth season as an assistant coach for the Mavericks and in his second year as the team’s defensive coordinator. The 41-year-old has also coached the Mavs’ summer league team the past three years. Before joining Dallas’ staff, Mosley spent four years as a Cavaliers assistant coach and five years with the Nuggets — three as an assistant coach/player development and two working in player development and advance scouting.

Known for: Player development, defensive minded and a strong communicator.

Knicks connections: None.

Bio: Considered to be the frontrunner for the Knicks job, Thibodeau was previously the head coach of the Bulls and Timberwolves. The 62-year-old was NBA Coach of the Year in 2011, his first season with the Bulls, when he led them to a 62-20 record and a trip to the Eastern Conference finals. He took the Bulls to the playoffs all five years, but was fired in 2015 following reported tension with the front office. He was hired as head coach and president of the Timberwolves in 2016 and made the playoffs in 2018 before being fired in 2019, reportedly for being too hard on young players.

Known for: Thibodeau has built his résumé on his relentless work ethic and his defensive schemes, which he became known for as an assistant.

Knicks connections: The former Knicks assistant from 1996-2003 is a client of CAA.

Ime Udoka
Ime UdokaNBAE via Getty Images

Ime Udoka

Bio: Another member of Popovich’s coaching tree, after playing three seasons for the Spurs head coach then beginning his coaching career there. After retiring in 2012, he became an assistant coach for the Spurs —spending seven years there, including two as the organization’s summer league coach. In 2019, the 42-year-old left to become the 76ers’ lead assistant after interviewing for the Cavaliers’ job.

Known for: Player development and forming strong relationships with players.

Knicks connections: Played eight games for the Knicks in 2006.

Bio: The last coach to lead the Knicks to the playoffs, Woodson is back to interview seven years — and three coaches, plus two interims — later, after also interviewing in 2018. The 62-year-old led the Knicks for two seasons from 2012-14 (in addition to a stint as interim coach), compiling a 109-79 record and advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2013. But a slow start the following season eventually led to Woodson’s firing. Previously spent six years as head coach of the Hawks, going 206-286 with three playoff appearances.

Known for: Built good relationships with players but also held them accountable.

Knicks connections: Drafted by the Knicks in 1980 and played one season in New York, later came back as head coach for three years. CAA client.

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