Knicks Rumors: Tom Thibodeau Top Candidate in NY's Head Coaching Search

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2020

Minnesota Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau directs his players during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves won 111-96. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

The New York Knicks are reportedly planning to hire a new coach within the next few weeks, and Tom Thibodeau is "atop the list of targets," according to Shams Charania and Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic.

Interim coach Mike Miller, who replaced David Fizdale after a 4-18 start to the season, will also receive an interview for the full-time position. The 55-year-old has "left a strong impression" on the organization and will reportedly be offered a role in some capacity next season, even if he isn't the head coach.

The team has gone 17-27 with Miller at the helm this year.

Former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson is also considered a candidate and is expected to get an interview.

The 52-year-old led the Nets to the playoffs last season but was surprisingly fired in March after producing a 28-34 record in 2019-20. According to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, All-Star guard Kyrie Irving "soured" on Atkinson, leading to his departure.

It still appears Thibodeau is the favorite thanks to his lengthy experience with the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves, producing a 352-246 record across eight seasons. He led the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011 and helped the Timberwolves reach the playoffs in 2018 for the first time in 14 years.

Thibodeau was also an assistant for six different organizations before getting a head coaching job, including seven years with the Knicks from 1996-2003. Atkinson was a Knicks assistant from 2008-12.

It will be the first major decision for team president Leon Rose as the squad tries to turn things around after seven straight losing seasons.