NY Knicks: 76ers assistant Ime Udoka to interview for head coach job

Ime Udoka, New York Knicks coaching candidate (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Ime Udoka, New York Knicks coaching candidate (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks are expanding their search for a new head coach.

As Tom Thibodeau remains the front-runner for the New York Knicks head coaching position, the team plans to interview Philadelphia 76ers assistant Ime Udoka for the role, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Udoka, 42, has worked for the 76ers over the past season, previously spending seven seasons with the San Antonio Spurs under coach Gregg Popovich. The Nigerian-American coach represented the Nigeria national basketball team as a player.

Ime Udoka joins a growing list of New York Knicks coaching candidates.

It is unclear if the Knicks are simply doing their due diligence in bringing in additional head coaching candidates for interviews, or if they will give each candidate a serious chance to get the job.

Besides Thibodeau and Udoka, New York plans to interview former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, along with former Knicks coach Mike Woodson. Incumbent Mike Miller will also be considered, and he is expected to be offered a position in the organization whether he is hired as the full-time head coach, or not.

Knicks president Leon Rose has been busy despite the Knicks season ending prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic. He added cap specialist Brock Aller to the front office, as well as former Jazz executive Walt Perrin, former Thunder scout Frank Zanin, and young scout Alex Kline. General manager Scott Perry had his option exercised for the 2020-21 season, so he will remain with the team surrounded by new hires.

It is refreshing to see the Knicks consider top upcoming candidates like Udoka in their coaching search. Some have been critical of the team only looking at “has beens” for the position, even though their recent history suggests the organization has been open to hiring coaches with little lead experience.

This will be Leon Rose’s first major decision as president of the team.