Fresh off of winning his second national title in three years, Villanova head coach Jay Wright is now getting the the NBA attention that we all knew was inevitable.
According to the New York Post, the New York Knicks “intend to contact” Wright about their head coaching vacancy now that Jeff Hornacek has been fired.
Wright, most believe, would make a great fit at the NBA level. For starters, he already plays an NBA style of basketball at the collegiate level. Villanova’s offensive is based entirely around two things: pick-and-rolls and spacing based off of elite shooting. That’s what they do in the NBA. On the defensive end of the floor, the Wildcats spend the majority of their time playing a switching man-to-man which is also en vogue at the highest levels of basketball in the States.
But that may not be the most important part here. NBA players are going to play the NBA game, and I’m not sure a coach’s system truly makes all that much of a difference. Wright’s demeanor and mentality is most important. He doesn’t have a massive ego and he’s not a control freak, but he is a guy that can massage egos and understands how important it is to keep players happy with their playing time. That’s why Villanova perennially has 10 or 11 scholarship players on their roster. One of the philosophies of that program is that too many guys with not enough minutes to go around is a bad thing.
“It ain’t about the system. It’s about the attitude, demeanor and management skills,” a former NBA player told NBC Sports. “Coaches just have to manage egos and rotations.”
That’s what Wright excels at.
So it would make sense that Wright’s name is brought up with NBA openings.
But, as he told Dana O’Neil of The Athletic this week, he may not actually be interested in any NBA job.
“The NBA does intrigue me,” Wright told O’Neil. “That challenge is appealing, but it’s not worth giving up working with these guys. The whole thing is, to take a new challenge you have to give up what you have. I don’t want to give up what I have. Would I like to coach in the NBA? Yes. But I have to give this up in order to do that, and I don’t see that happening.”