According to a report from Forbes, the New York Knicks could be tempting Villanova head coach Jay Wright to the pro ranks.
According to a report from Adam Zagoria of Forbes, the Knicks have expressed interest in Villanova men’s basketball head coach Jay Wright. Zagoria’s sources claim “there is a strong possibility that Jay Wright in New York could happen.”
Wright and Villanova have not commented on the rumors.
This is far from the first time that Wright has been connected to an NBA vacancy. The Knicks themselves previously reached out to him after the 2018 firing of Jeff Hornacek. Wright opted to remain at Villanova, leading to the Knicks hiring David Fizdale instead.
“It’s not that you’re not interested, I just don’t want to leave,” Wright told Zach Braziller of the New York Post back then. “It’s the Knicks. You love the Garden, you love New York City, you love the Knicks. I just know I don’t want to leave Villanova.”
Wright, 58, has been the head coach at Villanova since 2001. The Wildcats have transformed into a national basketball powerhouse under his watch. His 467 wins are the most program history and the team has reached the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in all but one of the past fifteen seasons. Two of those appearances ended with victory in the National Championship Game (2016, 2018) and another ended in the Final Four (2009).
Wright’s prowess at the Knicks’ MSG home has also been well documented. The Wildcats have won four of the last five Big East Men’s Basketball Tournaments held annually at The World’s Most Famous Arena. Their victory in last season’s finale over Seton Hall allowed them to become the first team in Big East history to win three men’s tournaments in a row.
The Churchville, Pennsylvania native also has ties to the New York area. His first coaching job came as an assistant at the University of Rochester and he took his first head coaching job at Hofstra in 1994. Wright guided the team to back-to-back America East conference titles (2000-01) as well as their first NCAA Tournament appearances since 1977.
A report from Kennedy Rose of the Philadelphia Business Journal should only fuel speculation. Wright and his wife Patricia are set to list their home in Berwyn later this month. However, Rose’s report states that the Wrights are simply looking to downsize now that their children have grown.
Wright and the Wildcats (19-6, 8-4 Big East) are currently ranked 15th in the Associated Press poll. They’ll return to action on Wednesday night on the road against DePaul (9:00 p.m. ET, CBSSN).
The Knicks (17-38) have played respectably under current interim head coach Mike Miller, having gone 13-18 since he took over for Fizdale in December. Their post-All-Star break slate begins on Friday night at MSG against the Indiana Pacers (7:30 p.m. ET, MSG).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490