Fisher is gone (hold your applause…or don’t. whatever.) Most, if not all of us, want Phil gone but the likelihood of that happening is slim to none. At the very least, can we replace Steve Mills? Seriously, our ineptitude of identifying and acquiring talent has gone on long enough. Seems like a lot of Knicks fans want to dance around the real problem. We’ve yet to bring in a quality GM who both has an eye for talent and knows how to effectively and efficiently build a team. Until we do so, we will not be successful. We can blame Melo and the money he makes all we want, but fact of the matter is, we were trash before he got here and will be trash after he leaves unless we change our ways. First thing is first, we need a new, HUNGRY General Manager. My biggest fears are coming true with Phil Jackson. He’s too stubborn and arrogant to think outside of the box (or triangle) and, because he’s 11x champion Phil Jackson, he isn’t being held accountable. Bottom line is, he’s done a poor job thus far. We need a GM, even if he remains president, who is eager to prove their worth. Phil’s legacy is solidified. In my opinion, the same ideology should apply to whomever our next coach is. I want a guy who has paid his dues and is anxious to leave a great first impression (like Mike Budenholzer was…who I wanted us to hire). Below is a list of guys that might fit that mold in my opinion:
Potential General Managers:
Troy Weaver: His name has been floating around for years. He’s known for having a keen eye in identifying talent. He’s the current assistant GM and vice president of the Thunder. Well respected around the league.
Travis Schlenk: Assistant G.M. for the Golden State Warriors. He was in the running for a few jobs including Detroit. He’s said to have a knack for identifying strengths and weaknesses. We certainly have a bunch.
Brian Pauga: Promoted from Director of Scouting for the Spurs to the GM of their D-League Affiliate.
Michael Winger: The ying to Troy Weaver’s yang, where Weaver is known for having an eye for talent. Winger is known to be an expert in negotiation and cap.
Shareef Abdur-Rahim: An excellent former NBA player plagued by injury himself, Abdur-Rahim is said to really have a knack for discovering young talent. Left a tumultuous situation in Sacramento unceremoniously but then again, so did a lot of people.
George Felton: Being Director of Player Personnel for 6 years with arguably the best run franchise in the NBA has to count for something right?
Ed Pickney: The Bronx native has more than paid his dues as an assistant. He served as an assistant coach for a number of teams including being a very influential coach in Chicago during Tom Thibadeau’s tenure.
Ime Udoka: He’s served as assistant coach under Pop for 4 years. LaMarcus Aldridge has said he was the one who finally sold him on joining the Spurs. Not to mention, he’s engaged to Nia Long…and who wouldn’t like to see her at a few games?
David Fizdale: Associate Head Coach of the Miami Heat and Director of Player Development. He’s been a part of the Heat organization since 2008.
Adrian Griffin: Another guy who paid his dues as an assistant, most notably under the Tom Thibadeau regime. He’s respected around the league. Was among the top candidates for the Cavs job before Blatt was hired. He’s currently the lead assistant coach in Orlando.
Tony Bennett: Head Coach at UVA. He’s known to be a brilliant basketball mind that I’m willing to bet would trade what he has at UVA (not exactly a basketball powerhouse or recruiting magnet) for all the money Dolan would be willing to pay him.
Sean Miller: Currently the head coach at Arizona. With Fred Hoiberg finally getting the Bulls gig, Sean Miller is atop the list when it comes to buzz names among college coaches. It was always him and Hoiberg. Now it’s just him. Which team will finally pull the trigger? Would you mind if it was the Knicks?
Robert Pack: He’s been assistant on teams with both Chris Paul, KD and currently Anthony Davis. He is well respected around the league and has more than earned his stripes. If you remember him as a player, he was a small-ish point guard who was tough as nails (dunked on Shawn Bradley). We need that type of heart instilled back into the basketball culture at MSG.
David Vanterpool: Currently an assistant under Terry Stotts (who I think should be in the COTY running). He was in the running for the Nuggets job that ultimately went to Mike Malone.
Chad Forcier: Has been with the Spurs as an assistant for 9 years.
Chip Engelland: Both an assistant coach and deemed “the shooting guru”, he’s been in the spurs organization for 11 years. Served as an assistant with Denver before that.
Mark Bryant: He’s been an assistant coach with OKC for 9 years. Not only does that mean he has experience, but he could give us some sort of chance with Kevin Durant…maybe?