Knicks Rumor Roundup: Tom Thibodeau, Patrick Ewing, and more

Catching you up on the latest buzz surrounding the New York Knicks from over the weekend.

News is slow right now as the NBA prepares for a possible resumption to the 2019-20 season, which is unlikely to include the New York Knicks. However, with the Knicks looking for a new head coach, there were a few reports making headlines this weekend. Let’s catch you up on the key rumors, along with a few interesting notes.

Top Headlines published over the weekend

Patrick Ewing, a top candidate under Steve Mills?

For a while now, anytime a coaching vacancy opens in New York, Patrick Ewing finds his name attached to the job. After all, he has been the face of the franchise for nearly 40 years; his basketball pedigree is unquestioned; and he has proven himself as an assistant coach in the NBA, and current head coach of the Georgetown men’s basketball program.

While Ewing’s name hasn’t been officially attached to the current coaching search, a mailbag article over the weekend by Marc Berman of the New York Post revealed that recently-fired Knicks president Steve Mills reached out to Ewing about coaching before hiring David Fizdale in 2018. Berman indicates that Ewing was not ready to leave Georgetown after just one season on the job.

If Mills remained as president, it’s possible Ewing would have been a top target. But I think Knicks fans are happy to let others decide who makes the most sense as the team’s next head coach.

Yes, Tom Thibodeau is the leading candidate

Once Leon Rose was hired as the Knicks new president, common sense would put Tom Thibodeau as a top candidate to one day coach the team. But even before Rose took over, within days of the team firing David Fizdale, Shams Charania reported Thibodeau would be on the short list of in-season candidates to replace Mike Miller if he faltered at the job. That was when Steve Mills was still running the show.

After Mills was fired, Marc Berman of the New York Post reported in February that Thibodeau was expected to be on Rose’s short list to coach the team. Frank Isola later tweeted Thibs would be among the favorites. And most recently, The Athletic (Mike Vorkunov and Shams Charania) came out with a report putting Thibodeau as the leading candidate, which Ian Begley of SNY quickly confirmed, and a few days later, we have another report from the New York Daily News.

Stefan Bondy wrote over the weekend that Thibs is a “heavy favorite” for the job to the point that he is already making calls to assemble a staff. Marc Berman of the New York Post offered some ideas of who could be on his staff, including two of Thibodeau’s former assistants from Minnesota, along with “another unsung but key target” in coaching associate Dice Yoshimoto.

Several Knicks players join in local protests

With protests over the death of George Floyd – an unarmed and non-threatening African-American man who was killed at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer – spreading across the country, several Knicks players offered their support.

Dennis Smith Jr. joined J. Cole in protests in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Reggie Bullock posted a tweet in support of protesters.

Next: Predicting which Knicks free agents return

That gets you caught up on the latest happenings over the weekend! Stay safe and healthy!

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