- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Phil Jackson may be dipping in to the college ranks for the next Knicks head coach.
ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard reported Thursday that Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg is on the Knicks’ radar.
Hoiberg and UConn’s Kevin Ollie are two of the hot coaching names in the NCAA.
The Knicks wouldn’t be the first NBA team to try to pry Hoiberg from Iowa State.
Sources tell ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne that Hoiberg rebuffed overtures from the Minnesota Timberwolves to coach Kevin Love & Co. Minnesota is trying to fill the coaching void left by Rick Adelman’s retirement.
Hoiberg has plenty of success at Iowa State, leading the Cyclones to a 90-47 record in four seasons. Iowa State went 28-8 this season, was ranked as high as No. 8 in the AP poll and advanced to the Sweet 16, losing to eventual champ UConn. The Cyclones gave Hoiberg a $600,000 raise after the season, increasing his annual salary to $2.6 million.
So he may not want to leave the school.
But the NBA will likely come calling. And Hoiberg isn’t another college coach who doesn’t have any knowledge of the NBA game.
Hoiberg played in the NBA for eight seasons, four in Chicago. He never played under Jackson, though. It is unclear if the two men have a previous relationship.
If they don’t, then going after Hoiberg would mark a departure from Jackson’s strategy of pursuing candidates with whom he has a previous relationship.
But that is unlikely to open the door to a Mark Jackson or Jeff Van Gundy hire.
Sources told Shelburne and Stein that there have been no indications to this point that Jackson will consider hiring an established coach. Another source told Stein and Shelburne that Jackson is not worried about selling New Yorkers on his eventual hire.
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2dIan O'Connor, ESPN Senior Writer