With the Sioux Falls Skyforce naming longtime NBA assistant Phil Weber as their next head coach, the Westchester Knicks are left standing as the lone minor league team to not have announced or formally introduced their first head coach.
Last week, the New York Daily News reported that former Bulls guard Craig Hodges had emerged as the leading candidate for the job. But fast-forward to this past Saturday, and the NBA veteran was nowhere to be found at the team's open tryout session in Ardsley, New York.
Following his absence, it was easy to assume that perhaps the Knicks had not come to a decision after all. The team appeared to have no head coach present, with an assortment of player development associates and other scouts leading the prospects through drills instead.
Though no formal announcement has been made, it's possible the organization's has already decided on their next head coach. At this point in the fall, not having some sort of related figure involved in the initial stages of building a team would make things more difficult.
Former NBADL assistant coach Kevin Whitted was one of the few mentors who helped out at the tryout without any previous ties to the Knicks' organization. But perhaps the former NBA player turned up for a more significant reason than just to lend a friendly helping hand. This enthusiastic tweeter happens to assert that Whitted will be hired as Westchester's first head coach at some point this week.
While this isn't an official report by any means, he may actually be on to something. In addition to actually being present at the open tryout, Whitted has further connections to this situation. For starters, he was an assistant coach for the Springfield Armor back in 2009, when they were previously affiliated with the Knicks.
There's been plenty of speculation that the Knicks may want to target a disciple of Phil Jackson's to further preach the ins and outs of the triangle offense in Westchester.
It's one thing to be a Phil Jackson guy, but what about an Allan Houston guy?
Of course, the Knicks' legend and current Assistant General Manager serves as G.M. of the D-League team. As fate would have it, Whitted is a former college basketball teammate of Houston's, where the two were coached by Houston's father, Wade Houston.
What's more, the two touched base as Whitted took in a Knicks game at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas this past July. While the wheels for such a union may have initially begun turning back then, it's unlikely that the a decision was made at that point. According to a source, the Knicks were holding multiple interviews with qualified candidates, with some finalists learning they were no longer up for consideration just weeks ago.
In any event, it'll be interesting to see if Whitted is in fact Westchester's desired man with a plan for this coming season.