Knicks Rumors: Jay Wright Would Need to Be 'Overwhelmed' to Leave Villanova

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2020

Villanova coach Jay Wright calls to his players during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Butler in Indianapolis, Ind., Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. Butler won 79-76. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AJ Mast/Associated Press

New York Knicks fans dreaming of Jay Wright on their sidelines may want to pick a new ideal candidate.

Ian Begley of SNY cited an NCAA source Tuesday who said the Villanova head coach will not even consider leaving his current team unless he is "overwhelmed by the opportunity." A separate NCAA source said there was a "very remote" chance Wright would wind up as the Knicks' coach, , per Begley.

Dana O'Neil of The Athletic was even more adamant Wright will stay put, tweeting, "Let's quash this stuff before it gets started: source told me Jay Wright is not going anywhere. Not to the Knicks. Not to the Sixers. Not to Oz. His house is for sale. He's not."

These reports come after Adam Zagoria of Forbes talked to a source who seemed to think Wright in the Big Apple is far more likely.

"There is a strong possibility that Jay Wright in New York could happen," the league source said.

Begley noted Wright declined an interview with the Knicks during their last coaching search in 2018 before they ultimately hired David Fizdale. New York fired Fizdale in December following a 4-18 start to the 2019-20 season.

Wright has enjoyed a largely successful career in the collegiate ranks.

After going 122-85 and reaching two NCAA tournaments, winning two regular-season conference championships and winning two conference tournaments in seven seasons at Hofstra, he started his current tenure with Villanova in the 2001-02 campaign.

He is 467-181 with the Wildcats with two national championships, three Final Four appearances, six Big East regular-season championships and four Big East tournament championships. He is a two-time Naismith Coach of the Year and six-time Big East Coach of the Year who has the Wildcats in position to compete for another deep tournament run at 19-6 this season.

That stands in stark contrast to the Knicks, who are 17-38 and in the middle of what will surely become a seventh straight losing season. They have won just one playoff series since reaching the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals.

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