President Steve Mills and General Manager Scott Perry met with the media Thursday afternoon following Jeff Hornacek’s ousting. While they wouldn’t discuss specific names as to the candidates, they made clear what Hornacek was lacking and they will desire from the next head coach of the Knicks.
“We’re going to be looking for someone who can hold players and coaches accountable. A guy who is not only a good basketball mind, but a skilled communicator,” Perry said. “Someone who is an effective leader and can connect with today’s players.”
Accountability and communication were big recurring themes as the Knicks brass continued to speak. Both Mills and Perry said that Hornacek could have done better in those areas. They also made it clear that the next coach for those in orange and blue will have to be a defensive-minded individual who aligns themselves with the pair’s overall vision.
“Patience is required,” Perry said. Mills discussed the importance of staying the course of a three year plan that began last year. The President advocated for a process that allows the Knicks to build organically. He added that while New York will take its time developing young talent, the possibility of adding (potentially marquee) free agents is “a few years from now.”
The front office will be open to any and all candidates from different walks of life who boast varying experience. As Mills stressed the need for an identity, Perry added that they would like to hone in on a similar level of tenacity that past Knickerbocker squads boasted on the defensive end, competing each and every night. Paging Mark Jackson, anyone?
One thing working against Jackson, however, is the need for open and honest communication. As head coach of the Warriors, the former Knicks point guard was known to isolate players and coaches alike.
“We are very player centric. We communicate with our players frequently and openly,” Mills said. “We should have a pretty good sense about what our players feel and what they need.”
Talk of potential candidates will certainly be ongoing as speculation arises in the weeks that follow. That said, who the next coach may be isn’t the only thing up in the air. The Knicks have questions surrounding this roster, beginning with Enes Kanter’s player option. When highlighting some of the bright spots for next season, Perry conveniently stopped short of listing the big man.
“There are a few good young players here that have promise and potential. We’ve talked about Kristaps Porzingis, but Tim Hardaway Jr. and Frank Ntilikina have also shown very positive signs,” he said.
In any event, it’s safe to say the Knicks know how to start summers off with a splash.