Jay Wright to Knicks? Don’t count on it

Jay Wright
Jay Wright. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Any hopes of Jay Wright leaving Villanova to coach the New York Knicks was all but flushed down the toilet. 

After a report from Forbes’ Adam Zagoria indicated that the Knicks had “strong interest” in pursuing Wright as their next head coach, Justin Tasch and Marc Berman of the New York Post quickly shot it down.  

“Jay loves Villanova,” a source said, though he added that a jump to the NBA wasn’t out of the question. 

The catch was that he just doesn’t want to go to the Knicks, which is an understandable thought process considering the state of the franchise. 

The Knicks are well on their way to a seventh-straight losing season as they emerge from the All-Star break with a 17-38 record. 

Under owner James Dolan, the Knicks have made the playoffs just five times since 2001. 

Wright’s unwillingness to entertain the Knicks’ interest is nothing new. He opted not to entertain talks with the organization two years ago when they fired Jeff Hornacek following the 2017-18 season. 

He’s been tabbed as the next college coach to head to the pros for quite some time following successful stints with Hofstra University and Villanova. 

In seven seasons at the Long Island school from 1994-2001, Wright led Hofstra to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances — which just so happens to be their last trips to the big dance to date. 

He parlayed his success with the mid-major to his current gig at Villanova where he has been for 19 seasons where he’s helped the Wildcats become a force in the Big East. 

His time at Villanova has included 14 trips to the NCAA Tournament, three trips to the Final Four, and a pair of National Championships in 2016 and 2018. 

Per the Post’s report, the only NBA gig Wright would consider leaving Villanova for in the immediate future is that of the 76ers’.

New Knicks president Leon Rose is expected to pursue former head coach Jeff Van Gundy and assistant Tom Thibodeau — who went on to coach the Bulls and Timberwolves — in his search.

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