The Knicks’ coaching search just got way more interesting.
Perhaps New York’s most qualified candidate to have interviewed is now officially a free agent. Per Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN, the Hawks and Mike Budenholzer have agreed to mutually part ways, opening up the door for the Knicks (or another team) to sign Bud with no compensation necessary.
The Atlanta Hawks and coach Mike Budenholzer have mutually agreed to part ways, league sources told ESPN. Story soon on ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 26, 2018
This all sort of makes sense, since it sounds like Budenholzer and the Hawks were headed in opposite directions as far as expectations for the team. Couple that with Budenholzer’s strong, peculiar desire to coach the Knicks, and we might be on a collision course with a new coach. From Woj’s story:
“I am grateful for the five years that I spent as coach of the Atlanta Hawks and will always cherish the incredible contributions, commitment and accomplishments of the players that I was fortunate enough to work with here,” Budenholzer told ESPN on Wednesday night. “From ownership to management, support staff to the community, I’ll look back with great pride on what we were able to achieve together with the Hawks.”
Atlanta owner Tony Ressler and general manager Travis Schlenk met Budenholzer on Tuesday night in Atlanta and ultimately decided that a separation was the best course for everyone, league sources said.
So, one team’s... uh... trash doesn’t seem like the right word for a coach as good as Bud. Either way, he could be the Knicks’ treasure now.
In another development in the most exhaustive (and, quite frankly, refreshing) coach search in Knicks history, Newsday’s Al Iannazzone reports that the Knicks interviewed Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga for head coach as well.
From Iannazzone’s story:
The Knicks’ list of candidates for their coaching vacancy continues to grow. They’ve interviewed Celtics’ lead assistant coach Jay Larranaga, according to a league source.
They received permission to speak to Larranaga and met with Brad Stevens’ top aide last week, the source said. Larranaga is the ninth known person the Knicks have interviewed or will interview.
So, not too much to go on there, other than the fact that he was interviewed. Honestly, I think Al’s big scoop got spoiled by the fact that Budenholzer was released — he spent most of the rest of the story talking about Bud. Makes you wonder if there’s a sense among the beat writers that a deal could be imminent.
Anywho, another day, more Knicks head coach candidates. As long as they pick the right guy, it doesn’t matter if they interview a million candidates.