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Knicks Coach Out of Cavs Job

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Amidst speculation about their free agents, the New York Knicks appear to be on track to getting a big one back.

According to a report from Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Knicks associate head coach Johnnie Bryant is not among the finalists for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ top job, at least for the time being. The search, Windhorst claims, has instead centered upon Kenny Atkinson and James Borrego, current assistants in Golden State and New Orleans respectively.

April 5, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; Utah Jazz assistant coach Johnnie Bryant during the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. The Jazz defeated the Kings 101-95. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

April 5, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; Utah Jazz assistant coach Johnnie Bryant during the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. The Jazz defeated the Kings 101-95. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The lack of news surrounding Bryant should offer welcome offseason relief to Knicks, many of whom came to appreciate Tom Thibodeau’s second-in-command for his work on the New York bench. All-Star Julius Randle notably credited Bryant for his resurgence during the 2022-23 season, praising their “big brother, little brother” relationship in comments to Peter Botte of the New York Post last year.

Though Bryant lacks head coaching experience, it’s perhaps surprising to see him left off Cleveland’s shortlist: the 38-year-old previously worked with Cleveland franchise face (and recurring Knicks target) Donovan Mitchell during the latter’s first NBA days in Utah, where he was an assistant under Quin Snyder. Mitchell’s future with the Cavaliers is in question thanks to his lack of a long-term contract.

Cleveland features one of the two lingering NBA head coaching vacancies, the other residing in Southern California: the highly-publicized Los Angeles Lakers opening has dominated this week’s non-Finals NBA headlines after University of Connecticut men’s basketball boss Dan Hurley rejected an eight-figure offer to oversee LeBron James’ potential Hollywood ending.

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