Morning Knicks 7/29: Potential Assistant Coach, Thibodeau Praise and Criticism, and More

Check out all the latest Knicks news, notes, and links for Wednesday, July 29.
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-It's time for Tom Thibodeau to start filling out his staff, and Leon Rose and the front office will give him some help. Kentucky associate head coach Kenny Payne is being considering for one of the assistant coach positions, as reported by Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Payne's ties could give Kevin Knox a chance or help the Knicks land a former Wildcat like Devin Booker, but ultimately, Payne is a proven coach who's learned under one of the best in college basketball in John Calipari. That alone should interest the Knicks' brass.

-An ESPN conference call on the NBA's restart shifted topics to the hire of Tom Thibodeau, showing how relevant the Knicks are even when they're struggling. Jeff Van Gundy spoke up during the call to both defend and praise his former assistant. There's a notion that Thibodeau can push his players too hard and overplay them during games, but Van Gundy shot that down on the call, calling it a "great slander." Marc Berman of The New York Post has more on Van Gundy's comments.

One person who partook in slander of Thibodeau is former NBA champion David West. The big man played against the Timberwolves when Thibs was the coach and felt that Thibodeau had lost the team, saying the players weren't responding to him. It's almost impossible to determine who really was at fault with the situation deteriorating in Minnesota, but it's hard to throw all the blame on Thibodeau. Regardless of any praise or criticism he gets, it will be some time before he can prove himself on the court. You can read more about West's comments from Marc Berman of The New York Post.