Rumor: Tom Thibodeau, Jeff Van Gundy on Knicks coaching short list

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Changes are coming to New York. Long-time James Dolan guy Steve Mills is out, soon Leon Rose and World Wide Wes will take over running the organization. This is an organization moving into the modern NBA…

With Tom Thibodeau or Jeff Van Gundy as coach?

Those are two names that have come up in early speculation about the next Knicks head coach, reports Mark Berman of the New York Post.

According to NBA insiders, ex-Knicks assistant Tom Thibodeau and former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy are expected on Rose’s short list.

Neither Thibodeau nor Van Gundy have gained so much as an interview across the years. Owner James Dolan was said to hold a grudge against Van Gundy for quitting during the 2001-02 campaign…

“If Leon ever hired Jeff, the fans would love him,’’ one insider said.

The connection to Thibodeau is obvious: He is a client of CAA, the agency that Rose is leaving to take over the Knicks. In the case of Van Gundy, he and Rose are reportedly friendly and, as a popular former Knicks’ coach, it’s good marketing.

For everything Steve Stoute did wrong in the last 24 hours, he’s not wrong about needing to change the culture and perception of the franchise among younger league players. Would bringing back old-school, grinding coaches help that cause?

Rose needs to hire a coach who understands and can help execute his vision on and off the court. There needs to be synergy. If that’s Thibodeau or Van Gundy so be it, but you’d have to wonder what kind of culture he was trying to build.