The New York Knicks continue to interview candidates for their head coaching vacancy, with some having been brought in for second interviews. On Friday, former Knicks coach Mike Woodson had his second interview with the club, according to SportsNet New York‘s NBA insider Ian Begley, who also reported that a final decision on the coaching hire is expected by July 31.
Woodson was just one of several candidates that reportedly have had or will interview for the position this week. Others include the team’s current interim coach, Mike Miller, Golden State assistant and former L.A. Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers headman Mike Brown, former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, Chicago Bulls assistant Chris Fleming, and former Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau.
Thibodeau, who has long been considered the favorite to land the job, formally interviewed on Thursday, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Woodson is one of the older candidates up for the job at age 62, and has only compiled three winning seasons over eight full years as a head coach. He owns the distinction of being the last coach to lead New York to a winning campaign, as well as a playoff series victory. During the 2012-13 season, he directed the team to a 54-28 record and a first-round series win over Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics.
Woodson became the team’s interim coach the previous season following Mike D’Antoni’s resignation. After shedding the interim label, he remained with the Knicks through the 2013-14 season and compiled a record of 109-79 during his run in New York. In speaking to Begley about the current opening, Woodson touted his previous record with the Knicks.
“I did my job when I was here. We won games. The fan base was engaged. I walked out of the Garden many nights thinking that the fans were proud and excited about what we were doing,” he said. “Am I capable of coming back to New York and helping them build a winning team again? I feel confident in that, I absolutely do.”
His history with the team could factor into the decision-making of Knicks owner James Dolan, president Leon Rose and GM Scott Perry. However, he may be facing an uphill battle against Thibodeau.
As relayed previously by The Inquisitr, there is reportedly significant support within the Knicks organization for Atkinson as well, given his recent experience developing younger players in Brooklyn.
The Knicks are currently rebuilding around 19-year-old R.J. Barrett, 20-year-old Kevin Knox, 22-year-old Mitchell Robinson and 25-year-old Julius Randle. Recent lottery picks Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina are also on the roster.