Report: Hiring Scott Brooks could help Knicks land Kevin Durant
With the New York Knicks head coaching position arguably being more attractive than it has been in years, several high-profile candidates reportedly are interested in the job, including Tom Thibodeau, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Jeff Hornacek, David Blatt and Scott Brooks, among others.
While all the potential candidates have their qualities — although none of them run the Phil Jackson-favored triangle offense — the last name on the list, Brooks, may be a more attractive candidate because reports indicate hiring him could go a long way in helping lure Kevin Durant to New York.
Brooks served as a coach and mentor for Durant over the first nine seasons of the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar’s NBA career — as an assistant during his rookie season in Seattle and part of the inaugural year in OKC until he replaced the fired P.J. Carlesimo in November, serving then as head coach from that point forward — until he was let go after last season and replaced by Billy Donovan.
While Durant applauded Donovan’s hiring last summer, he and Brooks not surprisingly developed a close bond during their years together.
ESPN’s Ian Begley reports that the Knicks — who have been deemed a “long shot” to land Durant in the first place, especially given the multitude of suitors interested in acquiring the 27-year-old when he hits free agency this summer — could bolster their chances of convincing Durant to join the Knicks by hiring Brooks, according to league sources.
Interestingly, Durant’s interest in potentially joining the Knicks took a reported hit when Derek Fisher was fired. But could the right choice in his replacement help curry favor with Durant again?
Either way, the notion that Knicks president Phil Jackson would choose the team’s next head coach based solely on the possibility it might make the Knicks more attractive to Durant is a dubious one at best, especially given Brooks has no familiarity with the triangle offense the Zen Master so loves.
One thing is for certain, though: Don’t bother asking Durant himself about it.