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- The New York Knicks are high on Jay Wright of Villanova and intend to contact him about becoming their next head coach.
- Wright, who has led Villanova to two of the past three college basketball national titles, has given no indication he wants to leave the school.
- Of course, there are plenty of other potential candidates for the Knicks job.
The New York Knicks fired head coach Jeff Hornacek, and according to a report from Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, the franchise intends to contact Villanova’s Jay Wright about becoming their next head coach.
“According to a source close to the club, Knicks management believes Wright would be a perfect candidate for a rebuilding club,” Isola wrote.
It’s easy to see why the Knicks would want Wright. He’s on a sensational run with Villanova at the moment, having just led the program to its second national title in three years and turned the Wildcats into a perennial contender.
However, getting Wright to leave Villanova could be a tall order.
“He told me years ago that he wanted to make Villanova into the Duke of the Northeast,” a source close to Wright told Isola. “It would take a lot for him to leave.”
And in a recent interview with Dana O’Neill in The Athletic, Wright, when asked about the prospect of coaching in the NBA, said, “I’m staying. I love it here. I love what we’re doing . . . The NBA does intrigue me. That challenge is appealing, but it’s not worth giving up working with these guys.”
Aside from Wright, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizzdale, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt, and former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson are all candidates for the Knicks head coaching job. In addition, former NBA star Jerry Stackhouse, who is currently the head coach of the Toronto Raptors G League team, is on the team’s short list.
Isola’s report also mentioned them as potential candidates for the job, plus current broadcaster and former Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy, current Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, and Craig Robinson, a former college basketball coach. Robinson currently works in the Knicks front office (and is also the brother-in-law of Barack Obama).
Whoever takes over the Knicks will be overseeing a tough rebuilding job in trying to turn around a team that went 29-53 last season and hasn’t made the playoffs since 2013, although the Knicks do have a franchise cornerstone to build around in 22-year-old Kristaps Porzingis.