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The Knicks reportedly extend a job offer to Kentucky’s Kenny Payne

The New York Knicks’ pursuit of Kentucky’s Kenny Payne continues.

Jeff Goodman reports that UK’s associate head coach is currently “weighing an offer to join the New York Knicks organization.” The Knicks’ latest front office additions, Leon Rose and  Williams Wesley, a.k.a. Worldwide Wes, have a close relationship with Payne.

Known by Wildcat players simply as “KP,” he’s been the righthand man for John Calipari ever since he arrived in Lexington . A maestro in developing post players, Payne also plays the important role of “good cop” to Coach Cal’s “bad cop.” When former Wildcats return to Lexington, Payne is often the first person they see. A mentor of sorts, players are close enough to throw jabs at the former Louisville Cardinal that Rex Chapman put on a poster.

Payne’s close relationship with former players is a big reason why he’s sought after by the Knicks. Every Knicks’ fan dreams of a day where Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns are suiting up in Madison Square Garden. With Payne on staff, the front office believes they can make that dream one step closer to a reality.

Payne’s son, Zan, is entering his third year as a walk-on with the UK men’s basketball program. As Payne ponders a future coaching his son or for Tom Thibodeau, another important person in the Kentucky men’s basketball program is weighing a decision. DeWayne Peevy is a candidate for the athletic director vacancy at DePaul. Aside from John Calipari, Peevy and Payne are the most important people currently in the men’s basketball program. Decisions made this week will play significant role in the future of Kentucky basketball.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

17 Comments for The Knicks reportedly extend a job offer to Kentucky’s Kenny Payne

  1. michaelb
    1:39 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

    I would say kp is gonna remain locked in here at uk…. this is 2020 though

  2. UKgrad80
    1:50 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

    It will another chink in the Calipari armor if KP leaves! We took a hit when Antigua left this would be a huge blow if KP left.

  3. Aar
    1:52 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

    If we in BBN want KP to succeed Calipari and be successful in doing so, taking the Knicks job could be a good move and this FUBAR year could be a good time to do it. Assistants who succeed HOF coaches rarely last. Also, as excited as we are about this season, it’s gonna be a chaotic mess. So, it will be a good season for coaches to learn the UK ropes before a more typical season in 2021-22.

    • Han
      2:52 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

      I’ve always hoped he’d take a head coaching job somewhere else for a few years and show how he’d run his own program.

      You’re not going to demonstrate your ability to run your own program sitting on an NBA bench.

  4. Headhurts
    2:01 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

    No matter what KP does Cal’s got this,

  5. Mathlete
    2:06 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

    “go somewhere you can win” is Cal’s steadfast advice to all of his assistants. The Knicks don’t scare me based entirely off of this quote.

  6. Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert
    2:49 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

    He will probably take it. He has stated in the past that he would love to go back to the pros and coach one day. And William Wesley has been his best friend since he was a kid. Plus, there is a good chance there will be no college basketball. If there was ever a time to go, it would be now. Lastly, his kid is a bench jockey and could just transfer down a level to a school in NY.

  7. BigBluSoTru
    3:07 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

    Payne wants to be in the pros not a hard move . If the thought of going to the pros was not in his mind he would have told his friend no thanks from the start. And with ksr reporting Brusier as the likely next man up don’t think Kenny hasn’t told Cal previously he was seriously thinking of leaving and to start talks with other possible assit’s.

  8. cllikeky
    3:55 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

    I wish him luck whatever he chooses. He will do great and is a great man. Same for DP. Nothing against Bruiser but if that happens, I would want to talk to Antigua. We need another guy to help the bigs on staff.

    • UKgrad80
      5:21 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

      Yes we must go for Antigua !!

  9. mikep
    5:06 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

    Please stay Kenny. Big blue nation and the Cats need you.

  10. BigBluSoTru
    5:18 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

    @CK naw Antigua got caught up in some NCAA stuff since leaving remember. Cal runs a squeaky clean program as much as i would love to have A back . Wouldn’t be a good idea.

    • UKgrad80
      8:05 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

      He has been coaching at Illinois for a while now it was something his brother did anyway. Not concerned about that at all.

  11. Bluebloodtoo
    6:06 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

    Kentucky basketball was here before you. And it will be here after you leave. That’s not to say that I wish they would leave, because I don’t. But the sky won’t be falling if they do.

  12. light my fire
    7:11 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

    Why go coach a bunch of over paid crybabies who don’t know how to take coaching because now they think they know everything

    The fans and owners have a short memory and it’s win at all cost every year

    Plus it’s in NY, a crap hole place with a worse mayor and Governor

  13. light my fire
    7:14 pm August 8, 2020 Permalink

    If you think your welcomed there better rethink

    Your already a millionaire so better to stay where you are loved