With the Knicks' search for a new head coach already underway, here is a look at the top candidates for the position in its early stages.
Jackson is one of top names that come up when people talk about who may become the next Knicks head coach. He obviously had success here as a player from 1987-1992, and then returned from 2000-2002 towards the end of his playing career. He was a fan favorite and always played hard, especially on the defensive end.
Jackson coached the Warriors for three seasons from 2011-2014, and made the playoffs twice before being let go. He is only a few years removed from coaching, and only had those couple of years under his belt. You would think that he would gladly take the chance to coach his hometown team that started off his tremendous NBA career.
With his experience in New York and his defensive-minded coaching style, Jackson would be a solid fit for this team and one that would appease to fans. The Knicks might have to make the fan base happy as they have been left watching losing after losing team.
Jeff Van Gundy
The last time Knicks fans didn't have to watch their team lose year after year was when this guy was at the helm.
Van Gundy was a winner with the Knicks, getting them to the playoffs every year from 1996-2001. Boy were those Knicks teams so fun to watch, with so many memories at Van Gundy's lead. When he left, it was like the entire franchise changed.
Since then, the Knicks have consistently lost with only a sprinkle of a few winning years in between. Knicks fans would jump for joy if they decided to bring Van Gundy back, despite him not coaching in the NBA since 2007 with the Rockets. More people would be surprised if Van Gundy actually chose to come back, especially on a team that probably won't win right away. There's a reason he's been out of the league for a decade and enjoying making millions as a broadcaster with ABC.
If the Knicks throw a ton of money at JVG, maybe he changes his mind though. That's the only way I see him returning to the Knicks -- it has to be $5 million-plus a season, and that might even be low. Bringing Van Gundy back would definitely instill some excitement into a Knicks fan base that has been missing it for a while.
Wright's name has come up, and who in their right mind wouldn't want him to coach the Knicks? Wright is coming off a national title and has won two titles in the past three seasons. His middle name is Winning. His success at Villanova is exactly why I don't understand him wanting to leave to start losing.
He might be able to get the Knicks in the right direction, but why would he want to join a rebuild when he coaches a top-10 team in the nation every year in college basketball? Wright has a 420-165 record coaching Villanova and Hofstra. He ain't leaving any time soon folks. If he does, Wright can definitely make things right at Madison Square Garden again.
Fizdale is an intriguing option since he's the guy who has coached the most recently in the NBA. He was fired this season after a 7-12 start with the Grizzlies, who went a lowly 15-48 the rest of the year. Marc Gasol got the best of Fizdale, but this team had his back in the playoffs last year and it seemed like all was going well.
Fizdale was an NBA assistant for nearly 15 years before becoming a head coach for a total 111 games with the Grizzlies. He definitely has the resume, but it's unclear if he would be the right here here. He definitely won't bring a ton of excitement to the fan base, but I don't think it would be an awful decision.
Williams is next on the list of guys who have coached most recently in the NBA. Williams was the Pelicans' head coach from 2010-2015, making the playoffs twice in five seasons. His last season in the NBA was 2015-2016 when he was an assistant for the Thunder. Then came the tragic news in February 2016, when he lost his wife in a car accident.
Williams is another intriguing option, but one that might not appease to the fans despite him starting his NBA career with the Knicks from 1994-1996. Also, Williams is the VP of Basketball Operations for the Spurs, so he's got a comfy role with a class-act organization. He's worth the look, but not in the top three for the Knicks.
I see Stackhouse as a long shot to become the next Knicks head coach. It would be stunning for them to go with a guy who has never coached in the NBA after the misery they have endured. That's not to take anything away from Stackhouse, who has a tremendous NBA career, and is off to a heck of a start in the G-League as a coach.
Stackhouse was the D-League Coach of the Year and D-League champion in 2017 with the Raptors 905 team. He's definitely building himself a coaching resume, but it's just too early to go with Stackhouse with a Knicks team that so badly needs a voice, and a leader that knows what they are doing. It is the Knicks though, so who knows that they may do.