MSG executive chairman James Dolan is currently searching for two head coaches, with the Knicks and Rangers letting Jeff Hornacek and Alain Vigneault go just hours after they completed their final regular season games.
For Hornacek, in particular, Dolan says he wasn't adapting to the way players deal with coaches and management in today's game. That was the main reason the Knicks wanted to make a change.
"I think Hornacek had the same kind of issue that [former team president] Phil (Jackson) did in that he didn't grasp how different the players are now in the way they think and deal with management and the coaches," Dolan told The Post's Larry Brooks. "I think he was way behind on that.
"But I think Jeff is a good coach and he'll do well when he's hired by another team."
So, Dolan and the Knicks are looking for someone who is keen to working with the front office as well as open to developing the young players on the roster instead of focusing immediately on winning. Although, that would be nice too.
"The old-style coaching doesn't work," Dolan said. "A coach who tries to do everything himself isn't going to be successful.
"The coaching search for the Knicks is similar in a lot of ways to the Rangers. I think the teams are in similar spots. We're looking for people to develop players and to create a winning team. We have our lists of candidates, but the lists are still open."
Much like the Sixers did, the Knicks are looking for someone who can "trust the process," in that developing young talent will result in a contending team for years to come. Dolan knows exactly who the team must build around.
"Basketball is different than hockey," he said. "A great player in hockey is the difference, but a great player in basketball is the team.
"And I think we have a great player in [Kristaps] Porzingis. We just have to build around him."
They have the plan. Now, they need the right coach to execute it properly to ensure the Knicks will break out of their five-year playoff drought. Among the candidates are former NBA coaches in Mark Jackson, David Fizdale, Mike Woodson, and David Blatt as well as Raptors G-League head coach Jerry Stackhouse.
The Knicks are also reportedly setting up an interview with former NBA PG Kenny Smith, who has never coached professionally in his career.
Dolan and the rest of the front office want to make sure the right man is put in place to lead the Knicks next season because the fans deserve someone dedicated to bringing winning basketball back to MSG.
"Our fans are great. The atmosphere they create is amazing," Dolan said. "Our final game of the season, the place was just rocking. It couldn't have been better, and we beat the Cavaliers. So I want to do what I can to build a team here that can win the championship. That's the objective behind everything we do."
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James Dolan had to react to why the Knicks needed a change from Jeff Hornacek...even though Dolan isn't the go-to guy for how to do your job.
We all know Dolan is far from one of the better owners in sports, but that's another story for another day. Dolan is 100 percent right on Hornacek not being able to grasp how different players are now and how they deal with coaches. It's a completely different game from when Hornacek played in the NBA in the 90's, and Hornacek just doesn't relate with the players. He wasn't the voice that the Knicks needed. The best part about Dolan saying that about both Hornacek and Phil Jackson is that...he hired them.
Dolan clearly realizes he made a mistake. Giving the Zen Master $60 million to do something he hasn't done was a mistake. Hiring Hornacek was an out-of-the-box, mysterious move that left some people scratching their head. Both hires were questionable and both fell flat on their face. Dolan and his deep pockets are still standing of course. Now comes a decision that they can not fail on.
Hiring Mike Woodson again or hiring David Blatt will just mean another pink slip awaiting in a year or two, and more pain for the organization and fan base. Dolan already has enough fans that want him gone, and the whole Charles Oakley incident only made fans dislike him more. This is a big decision for the organization, the fans...and him. He just can't afford another big mistake to set a Knicks team to more losing.
This is the greatest city in the world and the Knicks play in the Mecca of basketball. They need a head coach who will get them back to the glory days of the late 90's/early 2000's. That's when The Garden was rocking, Jimmy...not on the last home game of the season that would have been better off with a loss than a win.