NEW YORK — New York Knicks president Leon Rose said Wednesday that he intends to have the next permanent coach of the franchise in place by the end of July.
Speaking in his first interview since being hired in March, Rose told MSG Network’s Mike Breen that he intends to have “two phases” of interviews: conducting short meetings with candidates to “break the ice” before having “full interviews” with possible coaches.
“We’re looking at a lot of different people with a lot of different mindsets, philosophies,” Rose told Breen. “And for me personally, this is educational, and I need to make sure that we go through this process and we dot every I and cross every T in order to make the right decision.”
The Knicks, who will not be joining the 22-team restart of the NBA season in Orlando, Florida, have been led by interim coach Mike Miller since David Fizdale was fired in December. Rose said Miller was the first candidate the team interviewed for the full-time position.
“What I witnessed before I was here and what I saw being around Mike Miller — first class,” Rose said. “Did a great job in a very difficult situation, and we’re so appreciative of that.”
While Rose declined to give a list of candidates, sources told ESPN that the Knicks intend to interview Tom Thibodeau, Kenny Atkinson, Jason Kidd, Will Hardy and Ime Udoka, among others.
Rose said the team’s next coach will be charged with developing New York’s young squad, which includes Mitchell Robinson and RJ Barrett — a sentiment Knicks general manager Scott Perry and former president Steve Mills echoed before hiring Fizdale.
“We want to find the right leader that can develop our young players as well as hold everyone accountable,” Rose said. “And take us from development to becoming a perennial winner. We also want someone that we think will be collaborative with the front office, and someone that when you’re in that huddle and when you’re looking at that coach’s eyes, every player who’s looking at him knows that person is driving the ship and going to get the job done.”
The Knicks are the only team not to hold any media availability since the league shut down on March 11 amid the coronavirus pandemic. They finished the season 21-45.