The New York Knicks are planning to interview Chicago Leads lead lead Chris Fleming as part of their coaching quest, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.
Fleming joined the Bulls for the 2019-2020 season after spending three years with Brooklyn nets. He started his NBA coaching career as an assistant for the Denver Nuggets in 2015-16.
Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov reported in June that Fleming was on the Knicks interviewee list. SNY’s Ian Begley reported that the team should look at 8 to 10 candidates looking for a permanent replacement for David Fizdale.
Originally from New Jersey, Fleming has played professionally for QTSV / Artland Dragons in Germany for six seasons. He then coached the team for eight years, collecting four Bundesliga basketball titles.
In March 2017, ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz listed Fleming as one of his main NBA assistants to be kept under control in terms of potential coaching:
“Three intelligent front-office people who take stock of the NBA coaches’ ranks called Fleming one of their favorite prospects under the radar. They see a guy who has traced a unique path overseas. They see a grinder in a ruthless job that requires superb communication skills and an appreciation for players with very different backgrounds, ages and pedigrees. Fleming is considered fantastic with people, but he is not a weak person either: his personality profile is similar to that of his boss in Brooklyn. “
Haynes also called Fleming an “innovative offensive architect”.
The Bulls are in 29th place in the offensive standings (105.8), according to NBA.com, but holding it against Fleming would be somewhat unfair. The roster is still young and developing, and head coach Jim Boylen deserves his fair share of blame for the team’s struggles in this regard.
The rationale behind the Knicks’ interest in Fleming is obvious.
They could target a proven trainer with a wealth of experience and a successful track record. Tom Thibodeau would fit into that category.
With a long rebuild probably ahead, however, hiring someone who can develop younger players makes a lot more sense. Kenny Atkinson was kicked off the sidewalk in March, but his work in improving the Brooklyn Nets’ unmarked roster was instrumental in the team that reached the 2019 playoffs and helped the nets land Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in agency released shortly thereafter.
Whether Fleming is the choice or not, it’s probably the Knicks’ best route in the future.