Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — If there was any chance of John Calipari becoming the next head coach of the Knicks, it may have disappeared Tuesday when the franchise named Glen Grunwald executive vice president and general manager.
With the low-key Grunwald now firmly in control under owner Jim Dolan, it appears unlikely that Calipari or Phil Jackson would come aboard as coach, since both men are thought to want control over the entire organization.
Grunwald also has a strong relationship with interim head coach Mike Woodson, his former Indiana teammate, and it may only be a matter of time before Woodson’s interim tag is lifted as well.
The Knicks are 16-6 since Woodson took over for Mike D’Antoni and began demanding more accountability from everyone, including Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony, meantime, has thrived under Woodson by averaging 31 points on 50 percent shooting in the month of April.
Both he and Amar’e Stoudemire have advocated Woodson’s return next season.
“Just to see what he’s [brought] to our team, the confidence that he’s instilled into everybody, the belief that he has in everybody,” Anthony said Tuesday. “Just his coaching style, the way he’s coached, kind of a hard-nosed coach. Hold everybody accountable out there, saying that everybody is responsible for their own actions. I would love to see him back around here.”
The Knicks are currently the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference and if form holds, would play No. 2 Miami beginning this weekend.
In a worst-case scenario where the Knicks get swept by LeBron, D-Wade and company, Woodson’s status for next season could be in jeopardy.
But if the Knicks either push the Heat in a competitive series or somehow pull the stunning upset, Woodson’s chances of returning would be enhanced.
Calipari, meantime, has repeatedly said he will return to coach at Kentucky, the reigning national champs.
His incoming recruiting class was bumped down from No. 1 to No. 2 after UCLA received a commitment from 6-foot-9 forward Tony Parker on Monday.
And while UCLA’s loaded class of Parker, Shabazz Muhammad, Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams is now considered the best in the land, Kentucky’s class is no joke.
Nerlens Noel, Archie Goodwin, Willie Cauley and Alex Poythress are locked up, and the Wildcats are still in the mix for Anthony Bennett and Amile Jefferson.
That should give Calipari more than enough pieces to make a run at another title, even if this group isn’t as experienced as the one that included sophomores Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones and senior Darius Miller.
Either way, Calipari appears more likely than ever to remain in college — at least for the time being — leaving his potential return to the NBA for another day.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.