Kentucky Wildcats associate head coach, Kenny Payne, will join the Knicks and head coach Tom Thibodeau as an assistant. The CAA relationship stronghold grows, but now instead of pillaging James Dolan’s pockets, they’re using that bankroll to create what hopefully becomes a robust development group. With any luck that group is challenging and engaging enough to lift itself up to a championship level. First let’s see them get out of phase one.
The New York Knicks have hired Kentucky associate head coach Kenny Payne as an assistant coach, sources tell ESPN. Payne is the first formal addition to new coach Tom Thibodeau’s staff with the Knicks.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 11, 2020
The 53 year old Payne is no stranger to getting paid, but this is his first foray into the NBA coaching stratosphere. His role may serve as primarily a developmental guru for the younger folks, aka every one of these dudes. He might even find he’s able to pick up right where he left off with Kevin Knox.
Wow, what a great birthday surprise.....Congratulations Coach KP! Welcome to the Knicks Family.— Kev (@KevKnox) August 11, 2020
It’s satisfying to finally have a KP to root for in New York. Sadly for Kentucky fans, their associate head coach is gonzo. Part of the delay in officially signing him may have been John Calipari needing to pen his heart felt goodbye.
In statement, John Calipari calls Kenny Payne ‘an extremely important part of our success. His relationship w/our players is 2nd to none. He coaches them & challenges them as hard as anyone, but they respect him, they listen to him & learn from him because they know he cares.” pic.twitter.com/piyzysL6tw— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) August 11, 2020
When one door closes, the window of opportunity will bring in some fresh air. Or whatever. Welcome to the big leagues, Kenny.