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Knicks set to begin interviewing coaching candidates

Mark Jackson, David Fizdale, Jerry Stackhouse and David Blatt are expected to meet with Knicks officials this week.

Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry

Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry answer questions from the media at the Knicks training facility in Tarrytown on Thursday. Photo Credit: Errol Anderson

The Knicks are setting up interviews with candidates for their coaching vacancy.

Mark Jackson, David Fizdale, Jerry Stackhouse and David Blatt will meet with Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry, according to ESPN.

Jackson, Fizdale and Stackhouse will interview this week. Blatt, who coached in Turkey this season, also is expected to meet with Knicks officials this week.

A league source confirmed that the Knicks requested and received permission to talk to Clippers assistant coach Mike Woodson. The former Knicks coach — the last one to lead them to the playoffs — is an assistant under Doc Rivers. ESPN first reported the interest in Woodson.

Knicks officials said they are looking for a coach who stresses defense, holds players accountable and can relate to today’s players.

The four men the Knicks are set to interview have long been rumored as candidates for the job if the Knicks fired Jeff Hornacek — who indeed was fired Thursday morning after two years as their coach.

Jackson is from Brooklyn and played for the Knicks. Currently, an ABC analyst, he coached the Warriors for three years and guided them to the playoffs twice.

Fizdale was fired earlier this season by the Memphis Grizzlies after coaching them to the playoffs last season. Before that, he worked on Erik Spoelstra’s staff in Miami when the Heat reached four straight NBA Finals and won two championships.

Stackhouse, a former player who was with the Pistons when Perry was an executive with the team, has become a hot coaching prospect. In the past two seasons, he led Toronto’s G League team to the championship round each year.

Blatt, a successful European coach, spent a year and half in the NBA with the Cavaliers. They reached the NBA Finals in his first season but he was fired midway through his second. Blatt was a college teammate of Mills and Craig Robinson, the Knicks’ vice president of player development.

Under Woodson, the Knicks won 54 games during the 2012-13 season and captured the Atlantic Division title. Woodson also served as an assistant coach in Detroit when Perry worked in the Pistons’ front office.

The Knicks also have had contact with former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy.

Other potential candidates for the position include Jay Wright, Monty Williams and Jason Kidd. Rivers also has been linked to the Knicks, but he’s under contract with the Clippers for another season.

New York Sports