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Updated: 2018-04-26T00:29:57-04:00


Knicks coaching search update: Mike Budenholzer is free, Jay Larranaga interviewed



This Bud’s for you, Knicks.

The Knicks’ coaching search just got way more interesting.

Perhaps New York’s most qualified candidate to have interviewed is now officially a free agent. Per Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN, the Hawks and Mike Budenholzer have agreed to mutually part ways, opening up the door for the Knicks (or another team) to sign Bud with no compensation necessary.

You finally win, Mikhail Prokhorov. New York City is yours. The Nets will make the playoffs before the Knicks. The Nets will win multiple titles before the Knicks even win a playoff series. We’re doomed.


Locked on Knicks, Episode 294: Bud’s the guy



All killer, no filler

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On today’s ‘sode I break down why I think Mike Budenholzer is the best choice for the Knicks’ head coaching job, then talk about what would be fair compensation for his services.

I close the pod out by reviewing where the Knicks are in their search and what other names have been added to the mix.


REPORT: Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer would really like to join the Knicks



Why tho?

I must admit, I was quite skeptical when it was reported that the Knicks would interview former NBA Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer. Why would the Hawks part with one of the league’s finest coaches, and why would Budenholzer, who has spent most of his career coaching perennial playoff contenders, choose the Knicks?

Well a recent article from Marc Berman might have cleared up both concerns rather nicely. According to his source, Bud’s yearning for New York is quite real.

Mike Budenholzer is genuinely interested in the Knicks’ job, according to an NBA source who has spoken to the Hawks coach.

“New York’s his top choice,’’ the NBA source said. “If they offered him the job, he’d say yes. He wants to live in New York.’’

The piece was hilariously titled “Mike Budenholzer Wants the Knicks’ Job Because He’s Sick of Losing” before some New York Post editor smartened up and changed it. Why would a coach who’s tired of losing choose the Knicks?

But there is a bit of logic to this line of reasoning. Berman’s article goes on to state that Budenholzer is wary of guiding the Hawks through a long stretch of intentional tanking, which seems to be the course the front office has set. The Knicks are a bit further along in their Process, assuming Kristaps Porzingis returns to full health. Kristaps, Frank Ntilikina, this year’s lottery pick (hopefully good!) and next year’s lottery pick (also hopefully good!) could set them up nicely in 2019, assuming they finally have a good coach, that is. And coaches don’t come much better than Budenholzer.

But what about the second half of the equation? Why would the Hawks part with Budenholzer, who’s still under contract for two more seasons? Fortunately, Berman’s sources believe that the Knicks might be able to pry him from Atlanta without including a draft pick.

One NBA executive said Hawks ownership ultimately may be motivated by finances regarding Budenholzer. It seems hard to justify Atlanta seeking major compensation like a first- or second-round pick, with cash considerations more likely.

“Ownership has quite a bit of money on the line,’’ an NBA executive said. “They may be thinking why pay him $6 million a year if they’re not a playoff contender? Why not pay someone $2 million a year for the next two years?’’

I remain skeptical that this thing will get done—there are still a host of other potential suitors that make more sense than New York. But if the Knicks can get this done for just cash, they should hire Mike Budenholzer today.

Knicks fan’s guide to the NBA playoffs: Eastern Conference


Mostly it’s just hate here Welcome back, friends! And so we come to the East, where all of New York’s biggest rivalries lie. (Advance warning that I am a normally peaceful person whose primary outlet for anger is certain Eastern Conference basketball teams.) - China East (1) Toronto Raptors CP: Call me a xenophobe, but last time I checked Toronto was in another country, and it’s called the National Basketball Association. I was willing to tolerate the Raptor incursion on the Homeland only as long as they sucked. Toronto’s place at the top of the Conference is an abomination, and they must be stopped. For a long time the Raptors were basically KnicksNorth, with a steady pipeline of players heading up, usually somewhat before I would have chosen, and for slightly less return than ideal. To put it politely. A list of Knicks you may have heard of who’ve been traded to the Raps: Herb Williams, Hubie Davis, John Wallace, CHARLES OAKLEY, Chris Childs, and Steve Novak. Notables Toronto has traded to the Knicks: Andrea Bargnani. src="" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> Case closed. Blame Canada. MM: In the very first game in NBA history in 1946, the New York Knickerbockers defeated the Toronto Huskies 68-66. The Knicks’ leading scorers that night? Leo Gottlieb, Ossie Schectman, Stan Stutz and Ralph Kaplowitz. Toronto lost their next game to the Cleveland Rebels before the third time was the charm and they defeated the Detroit Falcons. I want to believe the third time will be the charm for the Raptors to best the Cavaliers this season after two straight years being eliminated by Team LeBron, because then we can believe continuity and incremental change is enough to move mountains, and as a child of the 1990s Knicks that’s still the hill I’m willing to die on. But deep down, the ghost of greatness haunts me. Deep down, I can’t help feeling there’s a better chance of the Raptors beating the Cleveland Rebels than the Cleveland Cavaliers. (8) Washington Wizards CP: Can’t help but like the Wiz. They’re spunky and fun but not too high on themselves and although they lose style points for ditching the wizard logo, they do make some back for the pornographic new one. Knick-wise, Ramon “too good for Instagram” Sessions is practicing his magick arts in Washington, as is Jason “Jah” Smith, dance machine: src="" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> MM: Ernie Grunfeld being in power anywhere in the NBA in 2018 is bizarre. Too bizarre. It’s so bizarre it’s even more bizarre than literally any other job you could imagine him holding. Look at this man. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin He looks like: A ballpark usher. A non-speaking extra in any Hollywood film featuring any scene with a board of directors. A brusque dentist. A movie theatre manager who always good-naturedly agrees to take the recycling to the dumpster after closing so his teenage co-workers can punch out and go home. They say there’s a big bio test in the morning they have to study for. He knows they’re lying, but he doesn’t mind. He’ll get home to his studio apartment shortly before midnight, feed his cat first, watch a DVR’d Wheel Of Fortune, and ponder what he wants in this life. He never comes up with an answer. He doesn’t mind. A junior high school math teacher who used to be the high school principal. Your older siblings and their friends always make fun of him and talk shit about him as a principal, and you want to defend him because he’s the first math teacher you’ve ever had who makes it fun, but you’re young and don’t want to risk what little social capital you possess defending a math teacher you’ll never see again aft[...]

The Knicks plan to interview Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, Spurs assistant James Borrego




Fans already knew that the Knicks’ front office planned a trip to Europe to interview former Cavaliers coach David Blatt. Now it seems that Steve Mills and Scott Perry will continue to expand their search once they return to the States, per Ian Begley and Adrian Wojnarowski.

After the trip overseas, the Knicks are expected to meet with San Antonio Spurs assistant coach James Borrego in New York, league sources said. The Spurs granted permission to New York to interview Borrego, sources said.

The Knicks also will meet with Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer on Sunday, sources said.

The news dropped on Friday, which means the Knicks decided to try out some primo Bud on 4/20! Thank you...I’ll be here all week! Mike Budenholzer would be a serious catch for the ‘Bockers—the 2015 NBA Coach of the Year led the Hawks to 60 wins. He’s a former Gregg Popovich disciple who runs a disciplined offense and defense. He’s still under contract with the Hawks, however, and would require compensation.

The more surprising name on this list, James Borrego, is another Pop apprentice, currently plying his trade as a Spurs assistant. He worked as an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic, even taking over interim head coaching duties in 2015 after Jacque Vaughn was fired, so he has a history with Perry, the former Orlando executive.

Another bit of good news from Begley: Apparently David Fizdale and Jerry Stackhouse impressed the Knicks’ brass in their interviews. I like the sound of that!