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Mark Jackson Favored to be Knicks Head Coach Next Season; Patrick Ewing, Phil Jackson & Becky Hammon All Given Odds

New York Knicks
Mark Jackson leads a long list of potential candidates to be the New York Knicks head coach in 2020-21. Photo by Matthew Addie (Flickr) [CC License].
  • After a 4-18 start, the Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale on Friday
  • Mike Miller has taken over as head coach on an interim basis, after previously serving as an assistant to Fizdale
  • Mark Jackson is the current favorite to be New York’s head coach at the beginning of next season

In just his second season as the head coach of the New York Knicks, David Fizdale is already out of a job after a disastrous beginning to the 2019-20 campaign, winning just four of 22 games. For the time being, Mike Miller, who was Fizdale’s assistant, will take over the duties as the interim head coach.

While the Knicks search for a new coach, former Golden State Warriors boss Mark Jackson has emerged as the favorite to take over at Madison Square Garden. The 54-year old coached the Warriors from 2011-14 but hasn’t been in the NBA since. Jackson currently works for ESPN as an analyst. It’s important to note that he also spent the first five years of his NBA career for the Knicks after being selected in the first round of the 1987 NBA Draft by New York.

Other names that are in the running for the job include Jeff Van Gundy, Jerry Stackhouse, Kenny Smith, and even Patrick Ewing.

Odds to be Knicks Head Coach at Start of 2020-21 Season

Name Odds
Mark Jackson +500
Kenny Smith +600
Ettore Messina +700
James Borrego +900
Juwan Howard +900
Jeff Van Gundy +1000
Jay Larranaga +1400
Jerry Stackhouse +1400
Mike Woodson +1400
Monty Williams +1400
David Blatt +1600
Jay Wright +1800
Keith Smart +1800
Patrick Ewing +2200
Sam Mitchell +2200
Stan Van Gundy +2800
Tyronn Lue +2800
Adrian Griffin +3300
Brian Shaw +3300
Derek Fisher +3300
Jason Kidd +3300
Sam Cassell +3300
Becky Hammon +5000
John Calipari +5000
Kaleb Canales +5000
Rick Pitino +5000
Maurice Cheeks +6600
Byron Scott +8000
Mike Brown +8000
Mike Krzyzewski +8000
Pat Riley +10000
Phil Jackson +10000
Charles Oakley +25000

Odds taken Dec. 7

Jackson, Smith Lead The Odds

Mark Jackson seems like a logical fit for the Knicks since he has close ties to the organization after playing at MSG back in the late ’80s and early ’90s. He posted a 121-109 record across three seasons while coaching the Warriors, just before their dynasty really began to take off. Even though that was his lone coaching job to date, he could quite possibly do well at the helm in New York. The Knicks have a lot of young talent such as RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox and Dennis Smith Jr, among others. They have the potential to be a very good basketball team in the future, they just need the right man in charge.

Kenny Smith is an interesting name that is second in odds to become New York’s next coach. The 10-year NBA veteran joined TNT just a year after his playing career ended in 1998 and still serves to this day on their panel as a Studio Analyst alongside Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Ernie Johnson. He’s never coached an NBA team, so it’s intriguing to see his name so high up on the list. Smith’s knowledge for the game is second to none as he often provides in-depth analysis on TNT’s Inside the NBA show.

Other Names of Interest

Juwan Howard, who is the current head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, has +900 odds to become the Knicks head coach next season. After his NBA career concluded in 2013, he transitioned into an assistant coach role with the Miami Heat, which he remained in until last season before signing a five-year contract to become the head coach at his Alma mater in May.


Jeff Van Gundy, who spent a total of eleven years coaching in the Knicks organization, has +1000 odds to return as New York’s head coach. The now-ESPN commentator led New York to five-straight playoff appearances from 1996-2001, including an NBA Finals and Conference Finals showing in that span.

Other names to note on the list are current San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon, Jerry Stackhouse, and current Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue. You can even find Pat Riley and Phil Jackson towards the bottom of the list.

There’s a lot of potential candidates who could take this job and it will be very interesting to see who actually gets it.

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