The New York Knicks have been through 13 head coaches in the last 20 years, which is a pattern that is not a great model for a winning franchise. As a result they have only made the playoffs six times in that span.
After another playoff-less season,the Knicks will be one of the teams that are conducting a search for their next head coach. This past season the Knicks finished 21-45 and went through two head coaches as David Fizdale was fired after starting the season off with a record of 4-18.
He would be followed by Mike Miller, who was an assistant on the staff, finishing the season 17-27. He is also one of the candidates that the Knicks are considering to be their next head coach.
But one candidate that would be a great fit for the New York Knicks would be former 19-year NBA point guard, and head coach of the Golden State Warriors from 2011-14, Mark Jackson. After retiring from the NBA in 2004, Jackson spent some time broadcasting for the Yes Network and ABC.
In 2011 Jackson became the new head coach of the Golden State Warriors after signing a four-year deal for $8 million. Jackson was coming into a tough situation as the Warriors at that point had made the playoffs just once in the last 17 years.
In his three years with the Warriors, Jackson managed to make the playoffs two out of three times and helped them get back to the playoffs for the first time in five years. In each of his three seasons, the Warriors improved their win total. During his time there, he also oversaw the development of players like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson who were starting to blossom each year.
In his final season as the coach of the Warriors, they finished with a record of 51-31. Unfortunately, the Warriors had an early playoff exit, as they lost in the first round to the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games.
Despite the Warriors’ success, Jackson was fired a few days after their Game 7 loss. The move was surprising to most, as people didn’t understand why Jackson was fired. Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob said that he didn’t feel like the team “could be great” with Jackson moving forward.
Since that time, Jackson has not been avoiding head coaching jobs, as he said on “ESPN’s First Take” on May 5th that, “I look forward to one day coaching again, it’s a dream of mine, I had an incredible time in Golden State coaching for three years, developing incredible relationships, and having some success. And I look forward to the challenge of doing it once again somewhere.”
Jackson clearly still has the desire to be a head coach in the NBA, but here’s why he fits the Knicks job the most.
Something that cannot be disputed about Jackson is that he’s a real New Yorker, and what I mean by that is he grew up in Brooklyn, New York, went to St. John’s University, which is in Queens, New York, and was then drafted by the New York Knicks and played there for seven years.
Meaning he clearly has an understanding of what the New York market is like, and also knows what kind of pressure comes with the job. Jackson is also a fan-favorite among many Knick fans, who would like to see him get the head coaching job. That’s important because the Knicks need to hire a coach that can give the fans a reason to believe in the team.
When Jackson played for the Knicks he was known for being hard-nosed and tough, as he was a product of the era he played in, and as a coach, the Warriors were a team that played with an underdog mentality and each year got better defensively.
During the 1990s, which was a great era for the Knicks, they won on being tough and scrappy. If Jackson was coaching, he could assist the Knicks in getting back to that kind of mentality.
One of the candidates that the Knicks are reportedly interviewing for the job is former NBA Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. Numerous people around the NBA believe he’s the most likely candidate to get the position because of his connection to Knicks President Leon Rose, as Thibodeau was a former client of his at the agency CAA.
Another known candidate for the job is former Brooklyn Nets Head Coach Kenny Atkinson, who has “legitimate internal support,” in the Knicks front office according to Ian Begley of SNY.
It will be interesting to see who the Knicks end up going with as their next head coach. It would be a pleasant surprise to see them hire someone like Jackson, who would be a breath of fresh air, and give Knick fans some hope for once.
What you know with Jackson is that he will definitely have a chip on his shoulder to prove to all of his doubters just how good of a coach he really is. Especially considering how long he’s been away from coaching, as he’s been patiently waiting for that shot of redemption.