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Knicks expected to begin interviewing coaching candidates

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts to

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts to a call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) Credit: AP/Butch Dill

With the NBA set to send 22 teams to Orlando for the resumption of the suspended season, the Knicks are expected to begin interviewing candidates for their head coaching job.

There has been a list of candidates expected to be the favorites for the job, with Tom Thibodeau considered the front-runner. But Knicks president Leon Rose is, according to a league source, conducting a thorough search.

While Thibodeau, Kenny Atkinson, Mike Miller and Mike Woodson may head up those with experience and an opportunity, several assistants could also join the list.

A source said that Becky Hammon, who has served as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Popovich since 2014 — when she became the first full-time female assistant coach in the NBA — could get an interview. Hammon, 43, began her playing career with the Liberty, when the franchise was owned by Knicks owner James Dolan.

Other assistants who will interview include Ime Udoka, who was a Spurs assistant for seven seasons from 2012 to 2019 before joining the Philadelphia 76ers staff last summer. And, according to an ESPN report, Orlando Magic assistant Pat Delaney will join the list. SNY’s Ian Begley reported Chicago Bulls assistant Chris Fleming will also interview.

Rose is expected to try to complete the process before games start at the end of July, allowing the Knicks to get a coach before other teams possibly looking to add a coach are eliminated from play. Thibodeau, Atkinson and Woodson are unemployed and could interview at any time, while Miller is still the Knicks’ interim coach.

Other names possibly on the Knicks’ list include Jeff Van Gundy, Jason Kidd and Mark Jackson. Kidd is currently a Lakers assistant coach after serving as head coach for the Nets and Bucks.

While some restrictions have been eased, it is expected that these early interviews will be conducted via video calls rather than in person.

New York Sports