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Knicks eyeing Jeff Van Gundy, Tom Thibodeau in head coach search

Jeff Van Gundy. SSM/SV

Agent-turned-president Leon Rose will have plenty of work to do with the New York Knicks if his hiring is confirmed by the organization. 

The 59-year-old will be responsible for moving the laughing stock of a franchise in a new, correct direction that will include finding a new head coach that can stick around for more than two years. 

New York has had six different head coaches over the past seven years, including the recent firing of David Fizdale in December. 

While Rose doesn’t officially have the job as Knicks president — he would take over for Steve Mills — there are already leaks on who would be tabbed as his new head coach. 

Marc Berman of the New York Post reported on Tuesday that former Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy and assistant Tom Thibodeau could be up for consideration. 

Van Gundy is the most popular Knicks coach in recent memory, leading the franchise to five playoff appearances and an Eastern Conference championship in five-plus seasons at the helm. 

He ranks third all-time in franchise history with 248 wins while his winning percentage of .590 ranks second. 

Van Gundy hasn’t coached since the 2006-07 season following a four-year stint with the Houston Rockets. 

Thibodeau spent seven seasons as an assistant coach with the Knicks, including all of five of Van Gundy’s years as head coach before joining him in Houston. 

He worked his way up to head coach in 2010-11 with the Chicago Bulls, leading them to the playoffs in each of his five years at the position. The Minnesota Timberwolves hired him as head coach and GM in 2016 but was out after three unsuccessful seasons. 

Berman’s report confirms that interim head coach Mike Miller won’t be around next season. 

He has stepped in admirably after Fizdale’s departure, leading the Knicks to a 13-19 record in 32 games. While the franchise is still 20 games under .500 and 17-37, Miller has already helped lift the Knicks to as many wins this season as they did all of last year.

Joe Pantorno