- An inspiring, commanding personality. The coach must step into our locker room and make it his own. We have hit a bit of a rough patch — a 4-18 start and the worst combined record in the NBA since 2013-14 — and we need a leader who can roll up his sleeves.
- A wealth of experience and a deep understanding of X’s and O’s. This is essential. The coach is responsible for all strategic planning and in-game decisions and will field functional lineups utilizing as many as four power forwards simultaneously.
- A desire to go against the grain. Modern best practices involve building a team around shooting and elite perimeter ballhandlers, but we have chosen a different path. The coach should fully embrace our philosophical zag.
- A nurturing style. The coach will develop and motivate raw teenagers in a matter of months, rather than years, given the organization’s long-standing belief that patience is not actually a virtue.
- An ability to communicate effectively with millennials and Generation Z. The coach must be able to summon the ghosts of our glorious past without boring the youth of today. Our brightest prospect, RJ Barrett, was born in June 2000 and thus has seen us advance in the playoffs just once in his lifetime.
- A charismatic public persona. Our die-hard fan base, which inexplicably has yet to forsake us, and the ravenous local media demand a straight-shooting sound-bite factory. The coach will make regular references to “The Mecca,” hype all positive developments and express grave frustration during losing streaks.
- A short memory. Pro basketball is a fast-paced business, and the coach should be comfortable losing roughly half his players every season for the foreseeable future. No exceptions, not even for popular potential stars, such as Kristaps Porzingis.
- Thick skin. Kevin Durant, a superstar free agent who elected not to meet with us after we spent months chasing him, recently said we are “not the cool thing in New York.” Unfortunately, slights such as this are unavoidable given our prestige.
- An adaptable mind-set. Our front office likes to dream big, but dreams don’t always come true. If best-laid plans go awry, the coach should recalibrate on the fly. For example, he should still aim to be competitive when Bobby Portis and Marcus Morris show up instead of Durant and Kyrie Irving.
- A comfort being uncomfortable. The coach should welcome his role as a buffer between public criticism and his supervisors, team president Steve Mills and General Manager Scott Perry.
- Selective blindness. Occasionally, owner James Dolan might become involved in disagreements or legal disputes with fans, rival owners, media personalities and, possibly, former franchise legends. The coach should ignore these and convincingly communicate to reporters that there are no distractions.
- A sword. If — really, when — this doesn’t work out in 18 to 24 months, the coach will be expected to fall on it.
Does this sound like you? Interested parties can contact the Madison Square Garden Company to apply. This is a full-time, salaried position covered with health, dental and vision benefits, a 401(k) and, inevitably, a generous severance package.