Jason Kidd now a frontrunner for Knicks coach as search turns messy: source

From Stefan Bondy:

The Knicks coaching search has turned messy with Jason Kidd emerging as a frontrunner after contract negotiations with Tom Thibodeau stalled, a plugged-in NBA source told the Daily News.

Kidd, an unquestioned Hall of Fame player, is viewed by the Knicks as a conduit to attracting free agents, but there are also people in the organization who are skeptical of his coaching ability following underwhelming stints in Brooklyn and Milwaukee. As a result, the Kidd hire would come with the caveat of the front office picking at least some of his assistant coaches.

“It’s basically to save Kidd from himself,” the source said.

Thibodeau has long been considered top choice but a source said James Dolan has thus far been unwilling to agree to his contract requests. It’s still possible the sides reach an agreement, but it would require a concession. Given the reservations about Kidd — who has a history of short stays and ugly breakups — retaining interim coach Mike Miller is another possibility if Thibodeau doesn’t re-emerge.

Miller went 17-27 last season after taking over for David Fizdale, impressing team president Leon Rose along the way.

According to a source, potential handpicked assistant coaching candidates for Kidd include Kenny Payne, Rod Strickland and Mike Woodson — all who have close ties to Knicks executive William Wesley.

Well, that all sounds perfectly awful.

Now I have to root big time for Thibs to get the job.

This team, this fucking team.

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92 thoughts to “Jason Kidd now a frontrunner for Knicks coach as search turns messy: source”

  1. I can sort of see Dolan’s reluctance to pay a coach. Let’s figure out how coaches, GM’s, and POBO’s are currently on the payroll…

    Derek Fisher’s 5 year deals ends this season, so he’s on the payroll.

    Jeff Hornacek just finished his 3 year deal.

    Fizdale’s contract runs another full season.

    Phil Jackson had his option picked up right before they fired him.

    Steve Mills is probably still getting paid.

  2. Reposted for new thread:

    f he trades lavine, which seems pretty possible, we don’t want to be on the other end of that zoom. we’d be left with a julius randle sized hole in our future assets and a note on the night table.

    I’m not sure what you mean about an asset hole, As a potential trade asset, Levine is probably as good as Randle. And this forum has discussed many times that Randle doesn’t fit with Mitch. For all his warts, Levine can shoot threes and fits much better with the Knicks needs.

  3. for all of julius failings – fumble fingers and terrible 3 point shooting amongst them – at least he looks like he gives a shit…

    so many games i’ve seen lavine just turn off on a play, quarter, half…no one is home…it’s not like frank when he gets those big eyes and looks like he’s sheltering in place, zach looks more like he’s on the couch getting high and playing video games…yeah, i could go strong to the hole, or, just chuck it up at the rim, or maybe pass, and then i can think more about eating pizza later

    oh my god…talking about the knicks might actually be more stressful than turning on the news :)

  4. I don’t see why the FO would want to pick the coach’s assistants (unless it’s Kidd). A legit coach should get to pick his own staff. I hope that’s not what’s holding up Thibs.

    If it’s the money, go for a Udoka type.

  5. If the Knicks hire Kidd because they think he can get them a meeting with Giannis, then Rust Cohle was right: time is a flat circle.

  6. I mean, if you apply the same logic to all hires of the past 3 months, you kinda get it: Hire Leon Rose, because he gets stars.. Hire World Wide, because he gets stars.. Hire Aller, Zanin, Kline, Perrin because they work with you to get stars… Hire coach X because he coaches stars….. this may be why there’s not a lot of smoke around Atkinson, he doesn’t ‘get’ stars. Maybe Thibs is too rough on players to be a slam dunk too. They’re probably looking for a Fizdale type.

  7. I don’t know where the LaVine rumour came from, but Chicago would never trade him straight for Randle, no way. He’s better by almost any metric, I believe. Moreover, it was Thibodeau who traded him to Chicago, while Wolves GM. Last, but not least, he has a skillset that kinda mirrors what people expect from RJ, so he probably would take minutes from Barrett. The 3-point shooting would be a plus, but the Knicks have more glaring needs, like a point guard who can organize the flow of the game and work on the pick & roll with Mitch and throw lobs to him.

  8. So Dolan brings in a new President but he is immediately going to undermine him buy not being willing to pay the money for his preferred head coach? He sure had no problem paying unqualified head coaches under Mills and Phil a ton of money but now under Rose he is going to start being cheap with his preferred head coach who is actually someone who has worked with the Knicks before during their actual good days and is a proven NBA head coach.

  9. OMG, you’ve got to be kidding me. Why can’t we ever just be smart, or at least not incredibly dumb? Why do we always have to do the least smart thing?

    My only hope is that this isn’t actually true and the Knicks are leaking it to put pressure on Thibs to sign the contract.

  10. Just remember: Dolan pulled the exact same bullshit with Phil’s preferred coach, and that is why Steve Kerr has many rings and we… are the Knicks.

  11. Hi Geo, if Lavine has a bad attitude, I don’t want him, even if he can shoot threes. I agree Randle does try on the court, even if he doesn’t succeed some of the time.

    As for assistant coaches, I think the new coach has to have ones he can work with. But it’s still fair that MSG insist that one of them is good enough to be a lead coach and a reasonable interim coach if one is needed.

    If they like Kidd as a draw for stars it’s no wonder they ruled out Atkinson, since two stars already explicitly didn’t want him.

  12. I don’t think money has ever been the issue. I mean they just hired a few front office guys who don’t look very cheap. It’s all about the starfucking. Always. If they think Kidd can get them Giannis AD or whoever, they’re gonna go with Kidd. Starfucking is the common thread through 20 years of Dolan.

  13. I want to say this sound like negotiating through the media and we shouldn’t be concerned, they probably are just putting pressure on Thibs to accept their terms.

    But the last 20 years have taught me that when a bad rumor surfaces, it’s rarely a fake.

  14. Ok so I decide to care a bit about the Knicks and check the news, and we’re going from hiring Thibs to potentially hiring Jason Kidd and trading for the poor man’s version of Devin Booker… the only reason Booker was a positive for the Suns this season is because he got to the line a ton and shot over .610 ts% to make up for contributing nothing everywhere else. LaVine has literally the same profile, except shooting .560 instead. Nice, I guess I’ll just go away for a couple of years.

  15. Booker the last 2 seasons has averaged close to 7 asts per game so he’s more than just a scorer. Doesnt seem to bring much to the table defensively though.

  16. As a potential trade asset, Levine is probably as good as Randle.

    when you sit down at a poker table and you can’t figure out who jake paul and nate robinson are, you are jake paul and nate robinson

  17. wetbandit: I don’t think money has ever been the issue. I mean they just hired a few front office guys who don’t look very cheap. It’s all about the starfucking. Always. If they think Kidd can get them Giannis AD or whoever, they’re gonna go with Kidd. Starfucking is the common thread through 20 years of Dolan.

    Yup. People act like things would be fine if Dolan just got out of the way, but he still has to hire the person who makes choices, and who’s he gonna hire? People who have the same juvenile view of how to build a team or else understand that they have to chase stars for their own job security.

  18. Potential handpicked assistant coaching candidates for Kidd include Kenny Payne, Rod Strickland and Mike Woodson, according to a source.

    So that’s an assistant coach for Kentucky, Rod Strickland-who has some sort of league job in the G league, and the guy who didn’t know why his team was good. This is the brain trust that would keep Jason Kidd from doing the dumb shit he wants to do.

  19. I remember listening to Dunc’d on podcast ranking coaches a year or two ago, when Kidd was still coaching Milwaukee. Kidd was 29th or 30th out of thirty coaches, if I recall. I think they didn’t rank Fizdale. He was too new.

  20. ***Someone asked me this on Twitter: Has a relatively new coach ever actually attracted a significant NBA free agent?***

    I think coach is more of a deal breaker in free agency than a deal maker. It goes: #1 money, #2 length, #3 teammates, #4 city, #5 coach.

    Though the Knicks missed out on Shaq, Jordan, and Miller in 1996, they were still able to sign Allan Houston and Chris Childs despite Van Gundy having only head coached 23 games professionally.

    Also, Brad Stevens was pretty raw when Horford and Hayward signed in Boston.

    Also, Steve Nash signed with Phoenix in 2004 when Mike D’Antoni had only coached half an NBA season.

  21. Also, Steve Nash signed with Phoenix in 2004 when Mike D’Antoni had only coached half an NBA season.

    when did d’antoni coach chauncey billups is a killer trivia question

  22. ptmilo:
    Also, Steve Nash signed with Phoenix in 2004 when Mike D’Antoni had only coached half an NBA season.

    when did d’antoni coach chauncey billups is a killer trivia question

    Had to dig deep to remember that one, but I got it right.

  23. In professional sports it seems like certain positional players have more coaching DNA than others, eg., catchers in baseball, goalies in hockey and point guards in hoops…too lazy to see if there is any correlation to win %…

    I was looking back at NBA coaches with over 400 career victories…it is amazing how many guys kept getting jobs even with horrendous records…but I wanted to see if there were any that started out kind of crappy and then developed into good/great coaches…the numbers are all over the place but among those that were hall of fame players (isiah, mo cheeks, kc jones, dick mcguire, paul westphal, lenny wilkens) only Westphal (533), Kc (674) and willken (536) had above 50% career win pct’s…but most started or early on had a few above 600 seasons…doesn’t seem like much history to starting crappy and then getting good…

    I am not sure what happened in Milwaukee but based on his playing career it is hard to say he doesn’t know the game…but based on the stats it is unlikely that he will be better than a 500 coach…but that is certainly way better than the assortment of incompetents that have paraded through here in the last five years…

  24. when did d’antoni coach chauncey billups is a killer trivia question

    not looking – guessing: ________________…

  25. s unlikely that he will be better than a 500 coach…but that is certainly way better than the assortment of incompetents that have paraded through here in the last five years…

    All the reviews of Kidd’s coaching were that he was a terrible coach, IIRC, not that players hated him but that he wasn’t good at the X’s and O’s nor at in game decision making.

  26. KnickfaninNJ: All the reviews of Kidd’s coaching were that he was a terrible coach, IIRC, not that players hated him but that he wasn’t good at the X’s and O’s nor at in game decision making.

    it is baffling…he was certainly able to do it when he had the ball in his hands…

  27. I remember hearing a story where K.C. Jones was diagraming an end of game play for the Celtics and Larry Bird wiped what he’d written away with his sweaty towel and said “just give me the fucking ball.”

    But it’s not like Bird the coach could huddle up the Pacers and say “just give Jalen the fucking ball” and expect the same results. Special players with innate instincts for putting the ball in the basket make coaches look really good. But that innate instinct isn’t something that those players can just turn into coaching players that aren’t themselves.

    I feel like Kidd’s coaches probably diagramed plays as “inbound the ball to Jason, then get ready to score.” That’s not something he can translate into successful coaching in his own right.

  28. The Bucks got almost 20 games better after they fired Kidd. That’s real bad coaching!

    The worse thing was that a lot of the changes were stuff that they were already asking him to make and he refused. So it’s more than just Budz being a better coach (and, to be fair, Budz got Brook Lopez, who helped space the floor a lot), but it was Kidd being an actively bad coach.

  29. Hire Tom Thibodeau, draft Grant Riller, trade Julius Randle, waive Bobby Portis and Elfrid Payton, unleash Mitchell Robinson, and forget about 2021’s free agent class.

    Am I asking for too much?

  30. Hire Tom Thibodeau, draft Grant Riller, trade Julius Randle, waive Bobby Portis and Elfrid Payton, unleash Mitchell Robinson, and forget about 2021’s free agent class.

    Am I asking for too much?

    Randle is a rough asset right now. Trading him will not be easy. But yeah, they really need him off of this team.

  31. When will the misery end for us? Is Dolan incompetent or just a sadist who delights in torturing Knicks fans? Even really shitty owners will luck out with better results than he has.

  32. Even by our hallowed standards this is an impressive amount of negativity.

    We still care at least

  33. Kidd’s one great interview is going to go down in history alongside Knox’s one great 3-on-3 workout.

  34. Remember…
    We don’t need to hire the best coach.
    Just the perfect fit.
    As a known circus maybe we need to get a clown for a coach.

  35. Perhaps the Knicks were trying to put pressure on Thibs by suggesting that they were going to hire Atkinson, and Thibs knew that they would never actually make a smart hire like that, so they leaked interest in Kidd, instead, as Thibs knows that they would definitely be dumb enough to hire Kidd, so that would give him more reason to think he might actually lose the job to Kidd and so maybe he would move on contract terms (why he would ever move on contract terms when he likely could get another, better job, is beyond me, though, and that might just be the reason why there is an impasse here).

  36. This part of the Leon Rose story arc is like the part where Wile E. Coyote gets the package from ACME in the mail. The wheels are all in motion for the rocket to blow up in his face. The only thing that’s in question is whether the rocket with the coyote strapped onto it blasts into the side of a mountain or if it goes over the side of a cliff.

  37. JK47:
    This part of the Leon Rose story arc is like the part where Wile E. Coyote gets the package from ACME in the mail. The wheels are all in motion for the rocket to blow up in his face. The only thing that’s in question is whether the rocket with the coyote strapped onto it blasts into the side of a mountain or if it goes over the side of a cliff.

    LOL! I’d say over the side of the cliff, with a very long fall to come…with us watching from way overhead waiting for the puff of dust from the impact.

  38. The more I think about it, of course there’s a contract impasse if they’ve decided that Thibs is their guy and yet they also want him to make major concessions. “Hey, Thibs, I know much better teams would be happy to hire you, but could you commit early to our shitty team to take yourself out of the running for those better gigs and also make major concessions? No? Really? Well, I guess we’ll just have to shoot ourselves in the foot instead then and hire Jason Kidd.” The Knicks don’t have much in the way of leverage here.

  39. All the reviews of Kidd’s coaching were that he was a terrible coach, IIRC, not that players hated him but that he wasn’t good at the X’s and O’s nor at in game decision making.

    If memory serves me, Haralabos Voulgaris used to rag on him all the time on Twitter when he was coaching the Bucks.

  40. Perhaps the Knicks were trying to put pressure on Thibs by suggesting that they were going to hire Atkinson, and Thibs knew that they would never actually make a smart hire like that,

    The mindset of this forum is to rebuild with all young players mostly gained via draft (which will take a lot more years given the setback we had with KP and possible draft mistakes). Atkinson makes perfect sense HERE under that scenario.

    However, the Knicks are not going to rebuild like that.

    The Knicks want (and need) star players. Leon Rose is not going to tank and develop kids endlessly hoping the ping pong balls fall right in the year that a true star is available. He’ll die of old age by the time that happens. They have some good young assets and some extra picks. They are going to develop most of the players they have, continue drafting, but they are looking to trade for a star or to sign one in free agency.

    Atkinson just got fired because he was losing a locker room headed by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. That was always a major concern given how they are expected to rebuild. That’s why I kept bringing it up.

    It doesn’t matter what anyone here thinks is the right way to rebuild or who the best development coach is. Almost no one is going to rebuild like that except Sam Hinkie and he’s not in basketball anymore because of the way he tried to rebuild and the way he dealt with people trying to get the job done.

    If it’s true that Kidd and Thibs are the finalists, it’s not shocking. Rose probably wants to make some serious moves in the next year or two and he wants a coach that won’t disqualify those plans like Atkinson might.

  41. Brook Lopez, who helped space the floor a lot

    imagine saying this in 2008 on draft night

  42. The Knicks want (and need) star players.

    Yes but Knicks strategy for getting them Is so bad. You get stars by drafting them, by hiring them as free agents or by developing them. We are not going to be able to hire them unless lots of pieces fall into place and we are actually an appealing team. Our last attempt to do this was trading KP and planning to get Durant. We gave up a stat we drafted for a chance at a bigger star and got the typical Knicks result. Developing stars takes time and a decent organization. The Knicks don’t want to wait. This is so depressing I can’t keep writing it . . .

  43. I tried to watch exhibition games with pizzas and beers and couch and bball hunger but… ended up rewatching Apocalypto on tv! Much more exciting!

    Bring Back The Games that count!!!

  44. I am trying to harken back to my original position on hiring a coach, which is that whoever we hire is largely irrelevant, and the most important characteristic is that the coach is easy to fire when the time comes. So I’m not going to get all worked up about Thibs vs. Kidd. Get good players and I’ll get more emotionally invested.

  45. I think Kidd is a decent coach. But if I’m not settling on Thibs or Atkinson, give me the combo of Woody and Miller. Kidd kinda flamed out quickly in Brooklyn and Milwaukee. Coaching full time at MSG will eat him alive right now. The only way I see it working is if Atkinson or Woody is his lead assistant, and I can’t see Woody coming back to work under someone he recently coached. I also kinda think he and Atkinson would bump heads much like he and Frank did. A Kidd/ Miller combo is not ideal. So at this point, I actually want to see Woody and Miller or Atkinson/Miller. Throw Thibs out if he’s hedging on negotiations. He can hold out for Brooklyn or Houston and I’m fine with that

  46. ended up rewatching Apocalypto on tv!

    really sneaky good movie…engaging storyline and beautifully shot…I remember being apprehensive to watch…at the time I think gibson was caught up in saying crazy shit, the movie had subtitles, and it just seemed like an odd story…

    really good film though…

  47. There really is no reason to move on from Miller. He did an excellent job, except maybe in fucking up the tank. Clearly, if he were in charge from the beginning, we’d be playing right now.

  48. I am trying to harken back to my original position on hiring a coach, which is that whoever we hire is largely irrelevant, and the most important characteristic is that the coach is easy to fire when the time comes.

    This is true. But it’s also true that hiring Jason Kidd to be coach is bad process, bad result. It’s not something that makes you give this new front office a vote of confidence. In and of itself maybe an organization could survive a bad coaching hire, but good organizations don’t really make bad coaching hires, you know?

    I’ve seen this movie before. We waste a year or two on Kidd, or Derek Fisher, or Jeff Hornacek and sure those guys are easy to fire but now you’re flushed another two seasons down the drain.

  49. JK47: This is true. But it’s also true that hiring Jason Kidd to be coach is bad process, bad result. It’s not something that makes you give this new front office a vote of confidence. In and of itself maybe an organization could survive a bad coaching hire, but good organizations don’t really make bad coaching hires, you know?

    I’ve seen this movie before. We waste a year or two on Kidd, or Derek Fisher, or Jeff Hornacek and sure those guys are easy to fire but now you’re flushed another two seasons down the drain.

    This is all logical. But it’s also true that some all-time great coaches/managers start off slowly…Bill Belichick, Joe Torre, Doc Rivers to name a few. I’m not a fan of hiring Kidd for a lot of reasons, mainly because I think this is the time for hiring an anonymous prospect-type coach, but other things too.

    Stepping back, it could be argued that not caving in to Thibs’ demands, nor making the search just a pro forma exercise, with a wide variety of candidates getting a 2-interview chance to make their pitch, is a positive. Every one of the 11 or so candidates has warts, and none are likely to be the long-term answer based on what they have done so far. So if Kidd is the guy after the extensive due diligence process, at least some benefit of the doubt is merited.

  50. I think the main concern we should have as fans right now is: If we likely fall to #7 or 8 via the draft lottery, how much will we give up to move up for LaMelo Ball? That feels like a certainty. Second most pressing concern is whether we acquire CP3 in exchange for something valuable (picks or actually good young players). Then there’s the usual concerns about drafting pure upside players and overpaying for FAs. Who we pick as coach is secondary to all of these concerns, although certainly related to all of them.

  51. Man, that was some blast by Cespedes. Dude is gonna hit a lot of homers if he can stay healthy.

  52. Aaaaaaaand it’s Thibs.

    I fucking hate that this team renders this news relieving even though it’s bad!

  53. Woj:

    The New York Knicks and Tom Thibodeau are finalizing a five-year deal to make him the franchise’s next coach, sources tell ESPN.

    This team, man. Even when they do a half-sensible thing, they do it in the stupidest goddamn way possible.

  54. I agree, but if the Knicks are making reasonable decisions in the stupidest way possible it is still better than manifestly bad decisions, and I’m relieved. I preferred Miller, but at least we’re getting a competent coach. I’ll take it.

  55. This is likely to work out fine if they give him a few shooters.

    Ian Begley
    @IanBegley
    SNY sources confirm that Knicks and Tom Thibodeau are close to reaching a five-year deal for Thibodeau to be the next head coach. First reported by ESPN.

  56. All I wanted was a HC who would let Mitch try point guard for a quarter or two every game, but yes, it could be much worse than this.

  57. Look at the bright side. It will be nice to have Rose, Noah, and Gibson back on the same team. lmao

  58. Damn, I really wanted Kidd, just for the comic value. Hey Brian, can we run a pretend thread imagining that Kidd was hired? For old time’s sake?

  59. Bad process, decent result. Baby steps!

    I dunno, I’m not super geeked about this but maybe the Knicks could run out a good defensive team under Thibs someday. That would be at least something different to watch for a while.

  60. What’s the record for most 5 year head coaching contracts on the payroll at one time?

  61. Knickerblogger reactions to moves made in the past year:

    “Oh well, it could have been worse”

    “Well, at least it wasn’t ________”

    “Not the dumbest move we’ve ever made”

    We’ve come to expect so little from this franchise, every non-colossal blunder is a victory

  62. This is likely to work out fine if they give him a few shooters.

    A few shooters, a few elite defenders, maybe a couple two-way superstars and a bunch of strong rookies on cost-controlled deals. That’s all we need!

  63. Deeefense: This is likely to work out fine if they give him a few shooters.

    …at the bar before the postgame presser after Mitch blows out his knee after breaking Wilt’s mpg record?

  64. the process was diabolically perfect. they tricked me into relief. maybe next summer they’ll start a rumor about moving the team to jersey before they trade mitch.

  65. ptmilo: maybe next summer they’ll start a rumor about moving the team to jersey before they trade mitch.

    naah, 99% of us would prefer the move to Jersey…

  66. Man, I logged in to say that the Athletic is reporting that we’re finalizing on Thibs, but aslep beat me to it.

    I was more intrigued with Atkinson, but I’m cool on this hire. The more I think about it, it seems some of his issues arise on teams that are further along in contention than we are. So if he can establish a strong “base” particularly defensively, I’m all in.

  67. …at the bar before the postgame presser after Mitch blows out his knee after breaking Wilt’s mpg record?

    On one hand, Mitch has been criminally underused. On the other hand, Mitch has been criminally underused. I’d rather see 40 MPG than 20 MPG.

  68. I want to say this sound like negotiating through the media and we shouldn’t be concerned, they probably are just putting pressure on Thibs to accept their terms.

    But the last 20 years have taught me that when a bad rumor surfaces, it’s rarely a fake.

    Wow. It was actually the reasonable thing.

    Maybe this is a good sign?

  69. alsep73:
    Woj:

    This team, man. Even when they do a half-sensible thing, they do it in the stupidest goddamn way possible.

    Also… Big points for whoever posited the Woj theory.

  70. mitch is actually a perfect fit for thibs because he needs more damn minutes but possesses a special form of overload kryptonite known as the gratuitous personal foul.

  71. I’d rather see 40 MPG than 20 MPG.

    You better hope Thibs is a great development coach because one of the reasons he was playing so few minutes was the consistent foul trouble and the hope the lower quality players he was facing off the bench were slick enough to draw them quicker.

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