With David Fizdale out as head coach, the New York Knicks have already begun the process of bringing in his replacement.
And, according to Shams Charania, their list of candidates is short and sweet.
"The Knicks want interim head coach Mike Miller to finish the season in the position, but I’m told they have a short list of potential in-season candidates, including Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Tom Thibodeau, should the team’s faltering season necessitate another move," Charania wrote. "Miller was informed upon taking the job that it is an interim position, and that the Knicks would keep an open mind for a possible permanent hire throughout the remainder of the season."
Of the three names listed above, all of them are well-known and widely respected in league circles.
Jeff Van Gundy has coached for the Knicks before. In 1996, he was named the head coach and helped the team boast their second-best record in franchise history (57-25), before resigning from the team 19 games into the 2001-02 season for unknown reasons. He last coached for the Rockets in the early 2000s, where he led the team to multiple playoff appearances before being fired in 2006.
Mark Jackson is another name with ties to the franchise. He was drafted by the Knicks as the 18th overall pick in the 1987 draft. Coaching wise, he famously led the Warriors before their dynasty, from 2011 to 2014, and is considered a big part of the development of Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson.
Tom Thibodeau is most known for his work with the Bulls and his identity as a grit-and-grind, defensive-minded coach. After being relieved of his duties in Chicago, he was given another chance in Minnesota but was unable to get them over the hump.
All three names have had many ups-and-downs in their careers, so it's hard to say they any one of them does or doesn't deserve the job. But, whoever they pick, they should give them the freedom to exercise their own system, and (more importantly) the time and trust to turn things around.