The New York Knicks have been busy over the last week. After firing president of basketball operations Steve Mills, and hiring Leon Rose to replace him, the Knicks also traded away Marcus Morris to the Clippers for future picks and an expiring contract. With the Knicks going back to the drawing board once again, that means that they're once again in the hunt for a head coach after firing David Fizdale in December. Mike Miller replaced Fizdale as the interim head coach, and has gone 13-19 since taking over, but New York is apparently looking at other options to replace Miller after this season.
The New York Post's Marc Berman reported on Monday that the Knicks are expected to include Jeff Van Gundy and Tom Thibodeau on their short list of head-coaching options. Van Gundy hasn't coached since 2007 when he was the head coach of the Houston Rockets for four seasons, after being on the Knicks coaching staff for 14 years, seven of which were spent as the head coach.
Thibodeau, on the other hand, was fired by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2019 after three seasons as the head coach where he finished with a 97-107 record in Minnesota. Prior to that, Thibodeau was the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, where he made the playoffs in each of the five seasons there. He was ultimately let go at the end of 2014-15 due to, as Bulls general manager Gar Forman stated at the press conference back in 2015, a need for "a culture of communication that builds a trust throughout this organization."
Both of these coaches have history with the Knicks organization: Van Gundy coached the 1998-99 Knicks team to the NBA Finals, while Thibodeau also spent seven years in New York as an assistant coach on Van Gundy's staff. Berman reported that if Mills was returning as president of basketball operations next season, Miller might've had a chance at having that interim tag removed and being the Knicks head coach, but Rose wants to make a "flashy" hire this summer.
Despite Van Gundy's interest over the years of becoming the Knicks coach again, Mills and general manager Scott Perry reportedly wanted to hire a coach who could connect with the younger generation. They opted for Fizdale, who has built up a lot of goodwill with some of the league's top players over the years, including LeBron James. That clearly didn't work out well, and the Knicks are back to rebuilding their franchise and trying to find someone who can pull this team out of the gutter where it has been for the better part of two decades.