David Blatt has said he wants to return to the NBA, and now he is already being linked to the New York Knicks.
The Knicks, of course, already have a coach in Jeff Hornacek. But Hornacek was hired by former team president Phil Jackson — who parted ways with the team following the season.
Jackson was replaced in the Knicks president’s chair by Steve Mills, who later hired Scott Perry as the new general manager. Perry and Blatt were teammates in college.
The Blatt speculation stems from a report by the New York Daily News.
“Blatt, who has enjoyed tremendous success abroad, owns an impressive resume. No question about it,” the Daily News wrote. “But you know the old saying, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And Blatt has connections with people in high places inside the Knicks front office, namely team president Steve Mills and newly hired front office executive Craig Robinson. All three were teammates at Princeton under legendary coach Pete Carril and remain close. You can connect the dots from here.”
Blatt coached in the NBA for one full season, led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2015 and compiled an overall record of 83-40. He was fired at the halfway point of the 2015-16 season, when the Cavs were 30-11. They eventually want on to win the championship under Tyronn Lue.
Blatt coached Darüşşafaka of the Turkish league last season.
As for Hornacek, it’s never good to be the lone man standing from the previous regime, and while he’s done a solid job, it’s so often about who you know. Still, there is no evidence the Knicks are ready to make a coaching change.
Of course, they first need to resolve the Carmelo Anthony situation, who reportedly wants to be traded to the Houston Rockets.
But this is New York, and until the Knicks start winning or building something that their fans consider to be exciting, the rumors aren’t likely to die.