Report: Knicks to Interview 76ers’ Ime Udoka for HC Job Amid Thibodeau Rumors

Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons, left, listens to assistant coach Ime Udoka, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 97-91. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The New York Knicks are reportedly expanding their candidate pool as they continue to search for their next head coach.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Ime Udoka will get an opportunity to speak to the Knicks’ newly installed brass.

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

The Knicks plan to interview 76ers assistant coach Ime Udoka for their head coaching job, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski later reported the Knicks also plan to interview Orlando Magic assistant Pat Delany for the vacant position. 

There is no reported timeline for the interviews to take place, though both the 76ers and Magic are part of the 22 teams heading to Orlando, Florida, to participate in the league’s restart at the end of July. 

Ian Begley of SNY.TV notes the team plans on speaking with eight to ten candidates, including Chicago Bulls assistant coach Chris Fleming. Mike Brown, Jason Kidd and Mark Jackson were also names floated by Begley though it’s unclear if any of the three will get a chance to interview. 

San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon has also reportedly been mentioned for the position. 

Udoka, 42, is a former small forward who spent parts of seven seasons in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings and the Knicks. 

After retiring in 2012, the Oregon-born Nigerian national joined the Spurs coaching staff as an assistant to head coach Gregg Popovich. Udoka held that position until 2019, when the Sixers hired him away to join Brett Brown’s staff as the No. 2 coach following the departure of Monty Williams. The move came shortly after Udoka was interviewed by the Cleveland Cavaliers to replace Larry Drew—a job that was given to former Michigan coach John Beilein until he resigned from the position in mid February. 

Delany, meanwhile, joined the Orlando Magic in 2018 after spending four years on the bench with the Charlotte Hornets. The former G League coach worked his way up the ladder with the Miami Heat over 11 years, starting as a video intern and earning the role of advance scout.

Former Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau has been considered the front-runner for the Knicks job since new president Leon Rose took over earlier this season. However, the team is also reportedly considering former Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson as well as Knicks interim coach Mike Miller. 

On June 5, Marc Berman of the New York Post reported a source told him any conversations beyond those with Thibodeau were “merely courtesy.” 

Thibodeau, who owns a career record of 352-246 has been out of basketball since the Wolves fired him 40 games into the 2018-19 season. 

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