The Brooklyn-born former Knicks point guard still has ties to the organization. A players’ coach, Jackson went 121-109 in three seasons coaching the Warriors and reached the playoffs twice. Personality clashes with members of the organization and philosophical differences about assistant coaches led to Jackson’s dismissal after a 51-31 season. He would be a popular choice with Knicks fans.
Another former Knicks point guard who is considered a players’ coach and would be a popular choice. Rivers’ teams have made the playoffs 14 times in his 19 years as a coach. He guided Boston to a title and did one of his best jobs this season, leading the Clippers to a 42-40 mark despite trading Chris Paul last summer and Blake Griffin in-season. If he’s not back in Los Angeles, he’s a definite candidate.
A fiery 43-year-old who led Memphis to the playoffs in his first year on the bench. He feuded with Marc Gasol and was let go after 19 games this season, but Fizdale is popular with players around the league, including LeBron James. Fizdale, who has a defensive background, spent eight years in Miami under Erik Spoelstra. He also could be targeted by the Lakers and Suns.
Stackhouse has a long-standing relationship with Knicks GM Scott Perry, as he played for the Pistons when Perry was a team executive. But Stackhouse also is proving he can coach and is getting attention for his work with the Toronto Raptors’ G League team. In two seasons with Raptors 905, Stackhouse guided them to the league championship last year and the Finals this year.
A top international coach, Blatt helped the Cavaliers reach the 2015 NBA Finals. He wasn’t popular with the players, though, and might be too defensive to handle the pressures of New York. But Blatt is popular with Knicks president Steve Mills and vice president of player development Craig Robinson; the three were teammates at Princeton.