Kenny Smith was a candidate for the New York Knicks’ head coaching job and he feels that he was the best choice for New York.
Kenny Smith was passed over by the New York Knicks in favor of David Fizdale. Smith wasn’t throwing shade at Fizdale, but he does feel supremely confident in his own coaching abilities.
Smith told TMZ Sports:
“I think they made the right choice,” Smith tells TMZ Sports. “Maybe not the best choice. I’m the best choice.”
He then doubled down … “They made the right choice, but not the best choice.”
On its face, this quote could get taken out of context in a heartbeat, but I don’t think Smith is trying to stir up any real controversy here.
This was the second time Smith has interviewed for a head coaching job in the NBA. He previously interviewed for the Houston Rockets job in 2016. He doesn’t have any NBA head coaching experience, but he thinks he’ll get a job in the NBA within the next five years.
Whether or not he was the “best choice” for the Knicks, I guess we’ll never really know. Regardless, he wasn’t the right guy to bring in at this point in time. With Kristaps Porzingis maturing into an All-Star and the young roster around him, a first-time head coach was not the move.
Granted, Fizdale only has one year-plus of head coaching experience, but he paid his dues as an assistant coach. If Smith really wants to become a head coach in the next five years, he may need to step outside the TNT studio and try and get a job as an assistant somewhere.
He could go on to be an excellent head coach in the NBA someday, but despite what he thinks, hiring a guy with no coaching experience whatsoever is a big risk to ask a team to make. That’s definitely not a risk Steve Mills and Scott Perry were willing to make.
Especially considering how much people love to rip on the Knicks for being an inept franchise. Can you imagine that backlash from the fanbase and the jokes being made at the team’s expense if the Knicks hired Smith with other options like Fiz, Mike Budenholzer, and Jerry Stackhouse available? I would have had to stay off Twitter for at least a few hours.
Right now, Smith gets paid to say things so he’s saying things. Can’t really knock him for it.