Thibodeau will bring a new staff of coaches to the Knicks, and a Kentucky basketball coach is reportedly being considered for one of the assistants’ openings.
According to Kentucky Sports Radio, Kentucky men’s head basketball coach Kenny Payne is considered by the New York Knicks for one of his openings as assistant coach under new head coach Tom Thibodeau. KSR sources say that while the Knicks have not yet officially contacted Payne, the franchise is considering Kentucky’s longtime assistant as an option to join Thibodeau’s staff.
Payne was recently hired as a candidate for an assistant coach position with the Knicks if Jason Kidd was hired as head coach due to Payne’s relationship with Knicks manager William Wesley. Now, it seems that Thibodeau is also impressed by Payne and will consider him for the job.
Payne has spent the past ten seasons training under John Calipari in Kentucky. He was promoted to coaching partner in May 2014 after serving his first four seasons as an assistant coach. Prior to his arrival in the UK, he worked as an assistant in Oregon for six seasons.
It can also be called a Hall of Famer. Payne was nominated in the 2020 A STEP UP Assistant Coaches Hall of Fame class.