The New York Knicks fired head coach Jeff Hornacek after a disappointing 29-53 finish to the 2017-18 season. As early as now, there is already a short-list of candidates that the organization is eyeing to fill his shoes. David Fizdale, Mark Jackson, and European coach David Blatt top the list.
Blatt is currently in the process of potentially adding another trophy to his already-stacked case. He is currently guiding Darussafaka Istanbul to a 7Days Eurocup championship. His team has a 1-0 lead over Lokomotiv Kuban in the Finals series. He coached the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014 to 2016 but never really jelled with its star player LeBron James. While at the helm of the Cavs, Blatt managed to secure an 83-40 record for the organization, but a cold locker room and coach-player friction proved too much of a negative impact on the team and they had to let him go in January 2016. Assistant coach Tyronn Lue took over.
At the end of the day, you could surmise that Blatt’s stint with the Cavs was just a matter of being a poor fit from both sides. He does have an impeccable coaching pedigree and was even named the Euroleague Coach of the Year in 2014.
Fizdale coached the Grizzlies from May 2016 to November 2017 and saw some success with the team as he applied an up-tempo style, while maximizing the strengths of the roster that he inherited. He has been linked to several NBA teams this season, so he might not land with the Knicks at all.
Jackson, on the other hand, is a sentimental favorite to land the coaching gig. He is a born-and-raised New Yorker and served some time playing for the Knicks organization. He is probably the biggest obstacle to Blatt making an NBA return.