NY Post: Why Knicks luring Doc Rivers to New York is a possibility

From Marc Berman:

It would be an easier sell for Clippers coach Doc Rivers if Kristaps Porzingis didn’t tear his ACL three weeks ago to complicate the Knicks’ rebuilding program.

But according to a former Rivers associate, it’s not far-fetched for the one-time Knicks guard to have interest in the team’s coaching job if Jeff Hornacek, who has one year left on his contract, is let go after the season.

“Doc enjoyed his time there,’’ the former associate said. “He respects the city, he respects the organization.’’

The Knicks, who are scheduled to leave for Los Angeles after Wednesday’s practice, will face Rivers’ Clippers on Friday at Staples Center.

Rivers has one year left on his contract that reportedly pays him about $10 million per season and he’d likely seek an extension in the offseason. Since he’s under contract, compensation in the form of a draft pick would be in order if Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry attempted to pursue Rivers.

I don’t believe Doc Rivers is seriously interested in joining the Knicks. He’s not the guy he was in 1999-00 who had the fire to prove himself with a young team (when he won the Coach of the Year by taking a Magic team just running out the time until they tried to sign a trio of free agents the next season – of course, what people forget is that the “mess” of players he had included a 25-year-old Ben Wallace, who the Magic then dumped to clear room to try to sign Tim Duncan, Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady. They only got the latter two and got to watch Ben Wallace win a title in Detroit. Can you believe that the Pistons got Ben Wallace just for facilitating Grant Hill leaving them in free agency? Has any team ever gotten something that good for facilitating a sign and trade for a player who was going to sign with the other team no matter what? It’s typically just, like, a second rounder or something like that. The Pistons also got Chucky Atkins in that deal!). He is now a guy who wants to win now.

I suspect that this is more about getting the Clippers to shell out big money for an extension for him or perhaps for the New Orleans Pelicans to step up and give the Clippers something to let them sign Rivers. The Knicks, by the way, don’t have anything that they should ever trade for Doc Rivers, so it is hopefully a moot point.

I like Rivers as a coach a lot, but yeah, he would not make sense here at all. It’s hilarious that KP’s injury actually helps them here, as otherwise, Rivers could come here and the Knicks could make some “win now” moves and win 35 games next year.

Here’s an interesting question – if your only two options for Knicks coach next season were trading the Bulls second rounder for Rivers or signing Mark Jackson outright for next season, which one would you choose?

47 replies on “NY Post: Why Knicks luring Doc Rivers to New York is a possibility”

Mike’s fine, by the way. I don’t know why the automated Morning News threads abruptly stopped. I’ll check it out.

Fizdale would be an interesting option. I don’t think he got a fair look at it with Memphis. Seems to be pretty well regarded around the league and was a key member of those post 2010 Miami championship teams.

I would trade the 2nd rounder for Rivers before hiring Jackson simply because I would rather have literally anyone coaching this team other than Mark Jackson.

But can we please just have neither? When was the last time Rivers coached and developed a young player? Rajon Rondo? His son? Why would we even want him? It makes my head hurts to think Mills might actually be considering hiring a big name coach that will want to win as soon as he arrives in New York, can he be this stupid?

I would trade the 2nd rounder for Rivers before hiring Jackson simply because I would rather have literally anyone coaching this team other than Mark Jackson.

I find myself thinking the same thing, and that’s insane to think that way, right? There’s no way it would work to trade a high second rounder just to not have Mark Jackson coach this team (well, and I guess you would get a good coach in the process, too, even though Rivers would be a bad fit here, as well), and yet, I can’t help but think the same thing. Goddamn, he would be so bad here.

I’m officially on board with dtrickey’s idea of Fizdale…but of the choices in the post..Jackson.

Wait wait wait wait..hear me out! We are rebuilding, so I don’t wanna give up the Chicago pick for a win now coach. And love him or hate him, Jackson deserves some credit for the Warriors’ development. At least he laid the defensive foundation. So in my mind- given those choices- Jackson would be the lesser of 2 evils. Now..If Rivers was a FA and interested, I’d pick Rivers on the the condition that he isn’t given personnel decisions power. He can have some say, of course. But we can’t let him hand pick the players while we have the perfect opportunity to go young

How have we not run out of big name saviors yet? Do we have to fail with all of them before we do something smart?

I guess we should want this to happen and want it to end as quickly as possible so we can move onto Calipari and just keep cycling through until there are no famous people left.

I have this sinking feeling that Mills understands the situation he was given and will do what he has done best in his career so far, which is to survive against all proper reason in a job he’s likely well underqualified for.

He’s been given a free pass for this season and the next with KP’s injury, so I don’t think he’s going to necessarily go for a big name coach now, there’s no need to. I think he could just keep Hornacek, as next season is kinda lost already anyway, then fire him halfway through or in the next offseason to go for a big name coach with Porzingis’ max extension and whoever else he and Perry adds to the team.

I think he eventually will want a big name guy, just not necessarily right now and not at the cost of trading for Rivers to come here coach a team of young guys with no chance to even sniff the playoffs (specially since Doc himself would probably rather stay in LA anyway as they are bound to be more competitive than us in the near future unless they go full on a rebuild). It just makes so much more sense for him to pull the big name coach card after next season when the pressure over the team’s very likely poor results will start mounting.

Here’s my list of desired coaches:

1) Brad Stevens
2) Messina or Hammond
3) Mike D.
4) Blatt
4 through n) Anyone, literally anyone
n+1) Jeff Hornacek
n+2) Doc Rivers
n+3) Kurt Rambis
n+4) Isiah Thomas
n+5) Mark Jackson

Hard, hard pass.

O’Quinn ate him for lunch when we played Detroit this year and O’Quinn isn’t even that quick.

Bro, are you seriously writing off the most productive scorer per-minute in modern NBA history because Kyle O’Quinn, a good basketball player, “ate him for lunch” during FOUR FUCKING MINUTES AND TWENTY-SEVEN SECONDS OF PLAYTIME?

Respectfully get the fuuuuuuuuuuuuck out of here.

If it’s one year of Jackson vs multiple years of Rivers, Jackson. He’s batshit crazy, but he’s a better development coach than Rivers. We’d never hire Jackson, there’s no way the FO would think he could deal with the media. I suspect we’re in for another year of Hornacek.

They could always fire Horny this year, hire a young coach and then scapegoat him next year. Just tell the press that he didn’t run practices well, people will totally buy into it!

Coaches almost never just finish out their contracts. Who’s the last Knicks coach to finish out his contract? Holzman, the first time he retired?

Not if Hornacek won’t limit midrange shots. Either Carmelo ruined Porzingis’s shot selection or Hornacek is telling him to go out and nail that 40% 20-footer like he’s a tall Carmelo.

3PA/game: 30th of 30

Fire him

The terrible offensive scheme the Knicks have and his infatuation with Lance Thomas are enough for me to want Horny gone for just about everyone not named Mark Jackson or Doc Rivers or “insert ex-player who’s best skill as a coach is to be respected in the locker room”.

Thinking about it, with the many reports that Rivers was not very respected by the Clippers when Paul was there, he might even not have that going for him.

But hey, they could always fire Horny and use Rambis as an interin coach, so yeah, things could be worse.

The 3pters pr game have at least been ticking up since Burke and Mudiay have been inserted into the rotation.

He’ll, I’d be cool with bringing Fisher back.

Which one of our players has a hot ex-wife? D-Fish finna git wet

James Harden is straight up torturing the Clippers right now, holy hell. If he doesn’t win the MVP this season I don’t know what to say anymore.

If New Orleans gets a top 4 seed Anthony Davis is my MVP. James Harden plays for one of the 5 smartest organizations in the league while AD’s Pelicans are probably 26th. The Pelicans suck and they lost DeMarcus Cousins half way through the season, plus AD is an elite player offensively and defensively. He’s my MVP.

I mean, I love Davis as much as anyone, but Harden is leading the league in win shares, BPM and VORP, is second in RPM and the Rockets have the best record in the league. I can’t see a real argument for anyone else, other than Chris Paul being a godlike player on the same team (and is the #1 in RPM). Davis has great stats but nowhere near this level of insane performance that Harden has been putting up this season.

Plus, I don’t really put much value into losing Cousins as well, I just don’t think he’s that impactful. The Pelicans seemingly got better by losing him, and they didn’t get much better by adding him in the first place.

It’s not Davis’ fault that his team is terrible, but Harden is the biggest reason the Rockets are this good. Unless the Pelicans go on a major streak and get the 3rd seed or something I’m still with Harden.

Story making is a strange business. This is the source:
“But according to a former Rivers associate, it’s not far-fetched for the one-time Knicks guard to have interest in the team’s coaching job if Jeff Hornacek, who has one year left on his contract, is let go after the season.”

That’s the equivalent of someone who used to work in your office commenting on your potential future employers if you left your current place. Berman must have slept through the part of journalism school where they talked about the “follow up question” or the more adept students went onto bigger and better things.

Put me down in the “neither” category.
Not that I think Rivers is necessarily a bad coach — a bad GM to be sure, but he’s fine as a coach. I’m not totally sure what to do about Mark Jackson — he doesn’t seem so intelligent on broadcasts but I think perhaps he gets blamed for “holding back” the Dubs when in fact some of the Warriors’ improvement after his departure was literally just Steph/Klay etc getting better. He did recognize that Draymond might be a real player, gave a 2nd round pick major minutes in 2013-14.

That said, my “realistic” choices would probably go in this order:
1) Fizdale – I really think he would get KP to have the right shot selection.

2) Blatt – proven good coach although I worry about him grating on the players as he seemed to have in Cleveland. Even Zach Lowe said he was a difficult personality to deal with even in interviews.

3) some unknown Kenny Atkinson-like figure – up and comer with strong player development credentials

4) Keep Hornacek for continuity’s sake

5) everything other reasonable possibility

Just to expand on the Dubs’ improvement in 2014-15 as compared to Jackson’s last year in 2013-14–
The roster really was just better — Barnes no longer a rookie, Barbosa+Livingston instead of Jordan Crawford/Steve Blake as backup guards, Draymond developing and basically taking all of 65 year old Jermaine O’Neal’s minutes. 2013-14 Dubs won 51 games which is no easy feat in the West, and pythagorean wins was 54 wins. In most years that’s a 2 or 3 seed even in the West.


I agree that Jackson probably did a better job than he gets credit for. The issue is that he did so much bullshit off the court and in the locker room that it rightfully overshadows the positives he brought to the table. It’s really hard for me to wrap my head around how much of a disaster those same hijinks would be in New York where nothing flies under the radar.

You mean hijacks such as accuse a player to be possessed by a demon? 🙂

I want Jackson at least 800 miles away from MSG.

And I’m not high on Rivers too, even if I must admit that I’m probably biased because he was a terrible GM, this year he’s doing a good job.

If rumors are true and Budenholzer is leaving ATL, maybe he could be interested,
I also like Messina and Fizdale (and Blatt, but he’s difficult to deal with).

@lavor – lol that’s right, I forgot about the surveillance and all the religion stuff. nvm.
Budenholzer’s leaving Atlanta?

I haven’t seen any Budz rumors. He basically runs that team, so I would be surprised if he left for anything but the same setup in a bigger city and that seems unlikely.

Are we trying to speak it into existence? I’d be okay with that.

I heard it in the Dunc’d podcast last week,
according to them Budenholzer he’s been unhappy since they stripped him of the GM role in may (others pointed to that in recent months: Lowe, The Ringer’s crew) and he’s at odd with the owner group.

I’m not powerful enough to start fake news, at least for now 😀


Thanks. That’s pretty interesting and it’s something I thought could occur when they hired that new GM stripping him of personnel power last summer. I’m not sure New York would be a situation he’d want if he’s seeking more say in personnel, but if he was interested he’d immediately jump to the front of the queue. Budenholzer has some flaws as far as matching up tactically in individual game situations, as most coaches have, but as far as creating a competent and consistent infrastructure on both ends and developing talent he’s as good as anyone.

If Rivers is the coach he WILL have some say in the personnel decisions. All coaches do even when don’t have the final word. Rivers is so pathetically bad at personnel decisions I would gladly suffer through a couple of years of Mark Jackson to keep Rivers away from NY.

Rivers + Mills could be a monumental disaster of epic proportions even if Perry is reasonably competent.

Mark Jackson would at least develop the young players, get them to play defense, and get them to work hard while he was screwing up the offense and preaching about God in the locker room. We could easily undo any damage he did with another coaching switch. It would take years to undo the damage Mills and Doc could do.

And thanks for the info, Max, about the Budz rumors. Fascinating to hear. I wonder if he’d be interested in the New Orleans gig. Maybe Milwaukie?

I’m biased on Ettore Messina and the Budenholzer’s rumors could be… just rumors,
but I’m really scared thinking of “Demons Hunter” Jackson patrolling the lines next year…
I’d rather have a wizard than an exorcist…

Did anyone read Zach Lowe’s piece about Drazen Petrovic?
The part about his working (shooting) routine is exactly what Frank needs to do this summer…

@41 MILW is a good bet for Budz, even NO (coaching AD must be a dream, DMC not so much), probably we’re not in the first tier of his choices…

Messina or Blatt would be my wet dream but, then again, I’m strongly Euro-biased (Messina was the coach of my hometown powerhouse when I was a kid and boy, that guy just knows basketball).

Budz would be great.

Rivers or Jackson make like no sense, which, you know… Dolan’s razor.

Rivers had peak Chris Paul, Deandre Jordan, and Blake Griffin to work with. The hard part was done. He was too incompetent of a GM to put together the role players and bench to become a serious contender. lmao

Really, we don’t want this guy anywhere near NY even if he’s a decent coach. He’s in a photo with Isiah for worst GM ever. Any input he has at all would be terrible.

Bruno @26
That crossover Harden put on Johnson was FILTHY

Do y’all believe Harden’s excuse after the game that he paused because he thought a foul had been committed? I don’t buy it. I think he was just showing Johnson up, but hell, if you can back it up, I guess go for it!

Hell no! LOL that was the “don’t you ever..” stare

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