Mark Jackson being a New York native with his deep connection to the history of NYC basketball was supposed to give him an edge in his candidacy for the vacant New York Knicks head coaching job. That was before Jackson encountered some homegrown competition for the plush, but challenging, gig.
TNT analyst Kenny The Jet Smith who was born in Jamaica, Queens and is a product of the basketball-rich Lefrak City houses, that also produced Kenny Anderson, will interview for the New York Knicks head coaching job on Friday, according to ESPN.
Kenny Smith to interview for Knicks’ head coaching job on Friday, according to @espn https://t.co/ojTrec8wyw
Despite his booming career as an NBA analyst on TNTs award-winning show Inside The NBA, Smith has still pursued front office opportunities in the NBA and interviewed for the Knicks GM position in 2008. He’s never coached, which is a strong advantage that Mark Jackson hold and a fact that has created some Smith Twitter-ribbing.
The league weighs in on whether Kenny Smith would make a good coach #Knicks https://t.co/dwh4xU8pRV
On the flip side, Smith, unlike Jackson, is a two-time NBA champion who played a decade in the NBA (1987-97) with six different teams.
While Jackson remains Knicks fans No. 1 pick, Smith brings some of the same intangibles that Jackson brings to his candidacy for the job. Smith understand the New York culture and the fans will immediately trust him. Hes very comfortable with speaking to media and expressing himself. Hes a student and teacher of the game and he has tremendous relationships and a mutual respect with all of the players.
New York is reportedly also considering former Grizzlies coach David Fizdale, former Cavaliers coach David Blatt and former Raptors assistant and G-League championship coach Jerry Stackhouse.
If anything, the Knicks latest coaching search has some sexy names for fans to get excited about and with the latest reports from owner James Dolan that that All-Star Kristaps Porzingis (ACL) may miss all of next season, Knicks management knows that they have to make the kind of splash that will give fans hope and confidence that no matter what happens next year, the organization is in good hands for the future.