If this prolonged teaching search Knicks president Leon Rose and William Wesley have launched into nonetheless results in Tom Thibodeau being employed, the remainder of the interviews gained’t have been a waste of Zoom time.
At least Rose and Wesley, who’ve by no means labored for an NBA team, bought a crash course in “The Spurs Way.”
Rose known as the continuing search that would finish subsequent week “an training.”
Part of Rose’s technique of interviewing 11 candidates — together with 5 with out head-coaching expertise — is to listen to philosophies of different organizations, in keeping with an NBA supply.
Two of these with out head teaching expertise are assistants Ime Udoka and Will Hardy — each of whom have San Antonio’s impeccable tradition ingrained in them.
To a lesser extent, so does Mike Miller, the Knicks interim coach who spent two seasons as an Austin Spurs assistant in the G-League and was Rose’s first interview.
Udoka performed three seasons with the Spurs as a teammate of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Udoka went on to teach them as Gregg Popovich’s assistant for seven seasons and likewise helped domesticate Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Udoka, 42, joined the Sixers earlier than this season.
“He assimilated with the Pop philosophy,’’ one NBA government who’s near Udoka informed The Post. “Udoka is an individual very pushed, meticulous, arduous on himself. He’s a perfectionist.”
Udoka, who oversees the Sixers’ protection, joined one other Spurs alum in Brett Brown in Philly.
Torrel Harris, the agent for and father of Sixers ahead Tobias Harris, has been most impressed with Udoka, a former Knick. If the Bulls’ job formally opens, Udoka is anticipated to be a frontrunner, particularly now that former Sixers government Marc Eversley simply joined Chicago.
“He’s nice man, good coach,’’ Harris informed The Post. “He can be an ideal coach for the Knicks. All gamers love him. He gets the gamers respect. The Knicks ought to undoubtedly rent him.’’
So why did Udoka depart Popovich’s aspect? Some insiders deduce Udoka realized he was not Popovich’s successor — that Becky Hammon, Tim Duncan and even Hardy held the within monitor. Popovich is 71 years outdated.
“A distinct problem is all the time thrilling to me,’’ Udoka mentioned earlier than the season. “When you’ve performed one thing — you recognize I spent seven years as a coach [in San Antonio]. Seeing new issues, being with new gamers and bouncing concepts off of various coaches and new philosophies is a technique to develop and see issues from a distinct perspective.”
Hardy, 31, nonetheless is in place in San Antonio after being with the group for 10 years, beginning as a 21-year-old intern. He was promoted to the entrance of the bench solely this season however has been an assistant for 4 years after serving as video coordinator.
“It’s not simply Pop and [GM] R.C. [Buford], who’ve been fantastic, however I’ve had coaches I’ve labored for and labored with [and] the listing is loopy,’’ Hardy mentioned in an interview with The Athletic earlier than the season. “It’s Mike Budenholzer. It’s Brett Brown, Jacque Vaughn, Don Newman, Chip [Engelland] and Chad [Forcier]. Ime [Udoka] and Ettore Messina, James Borrego, Becky [Hammon], Jim Boylen. I imply, there are like six head coaches in there.”
So what’s Rose and Wesley studying in regards to the Spurs via these interviews?
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One NBA coach mentioned a few of it’s easy however arduous to duplicate.
“The Spurs Way is the sum being larger than the person elements,’’ the coach mentioned. “It was by no means about Tim Duncan or Tony or Manu. Pop was allowed to teach them with out particular person agenda as a result of the gamers purchased right into a system.’’
One agent mentioned “The Spurs Way’’ just isn’t pretend, although their astounding 22-year playoff streak is anticipated to crash amid the Orlando restart as they enter with a 27-36 file.
“It exists,’’ the agent mentioned. “When it involves participant improvement, they’ve performed superb. The tradition is simply nice there. When it involves putting a younger participant in the NBA, as an agent, you’re concentrating on two franchises — San Antonio and Miami.”
One teaching supply added, “The system is actual. If a Hall of Famer buys in, nice issues occur.Tim was all about profitable, a la Bill Russell. The greatest programs and greatest coaches can get extra wins out of the identical group of gamers than a strategically suspect system or inferior coach.”
Spurs class is adjourned.
Mike Woodson, who’s being checked out extra so so as to add as prime assistant, had his second interview Friday. The Post reported David Fizdale wished Woodson on his employees in 2018 however administration thought it to be a foul thought.