The Westchester Knicks are set to host local open tryouts for the first time on Saturday, September 20th. Though such an event is all but less than two weeks away, the team is yet to have announced its first head coach entering their inaugural season.
While no formal announcement has been made just yet, Westchester could very well have a man in mind for the job, nonetheless. Taking that into consideration, here are some potential possible candidates for the vacancy.
Coach MacKinnon is a well respected mentor across the D-League community, serving as executive director of the league's annual national tryouts and offseason Elite Mini-Camp in recent years. In addition to winning a minor league championship as head coach of the Colorado 14ers back in 2009 as head coach, the veteran is also fresh off leading the Los Angeles D-Fenders to a second seed finish in the NBADL last season.
Despite such most recent success, the qualified individual found himself out of work when the affiliated Los Angeles Lakers parted ways with Mike D'Antoni. Highly regarded as one of the most innovative offensive minds in all of the D-League, there's a good chance MacKinnon could prove to be a quick learner when it comes to the triangle offense. What's more, he may even be able to put his own spin on things to ensure the triangle better suits minor leaguers as well.
RidiculousUpside.com has reason to believe Coach MacKinnon has interviewed for Westchester's vacancy.
Following his time as a player and coach in the NBA, it's clear Williams has quite the vast basketball resume. Having spent parts of seven seasons donning orange and blue as a player, and most recently spending over a decade on the Knicks' bench as an assistant, it's safe to say he's become not only a staple, but a fan favorite in the Big Apple.
That's why it was a bit surprising to see Williams let go, along with Mike Woodson and the rest of his staff earlier this offseason. However, following his ousting, the New York Post reported that the mainstay might not be finished with the organization just yet. After all, he's held in high regard. What's more, he turned up at the team's summer basketball camp this offseason, despite his firing.
Derek Fisher's coaching staff is set, but Williams is still without a job. Though he's had a couple of interim stints with New York over the years, Williams has not had a thorough opportunity to serve in a head coaching capacity. Might he find his calling in Westchester?
Williams may not be a triangle offense disciple, but he's a trusted confidant in the organization with a wealth of experience. It also doesn't hurt that his former teammate, Allan Houston, is the D-League team's General Manager.
And just for good measure, such a coaching migration has happened before. Following multiple seasons as a Nets' assistant, Doug Overton went on to serve as head coach of the previously affiliated Springfield Armor last season.
The Knicks are said to desire someone with triangle offense experience, even when it comes to hiring a D-League coach. This, alone, should thrust a good number of Phil Jackson's former players and/or confidants into consideration for such a position.
Enter Rick Fox, who has been angling for a position in New York for quite a while now. He interviewed for the NBA team's head coaching position, but even after his former teammate Fisher was hired and filled his staff, Fox found himself to be the odd man out yet again.
Someone with head coaching aspirations, perhaps an opportunity to lead the way in Westchester could be a chance to get his feet wet and remain close to those around the NBA team in the meantime. A well known actor and television analyst in his post-playing days, one has to wonder if coaching in the D-League would truly fulfill Fox's needs following years in the limelight.
Much of the same theory that can be associated with Fox can be applied to Harper as well. Like Fox, Harper was expecting to interview for the Knicks' NBA head coaching job earlier in the offseason. There was no further confirmation that he got such an opportunity, but if he did, at least it can be said that conversations were had with Jackson and co.
If those conversations took place, perhaps Jackson now has a better idea of how Harper's on the court leadership skills could translate on the court. Working in his favor are the facts that not only does he have previous experience as an NBA assistant, but Harper now makes his offseason home locally in New Jersey.