Kevin Durant once called fellow Texas Longhorn Royal Ivey his “best teammate” in the NBA. And Ivey identified as a Nets fan growing up.
Not to mention he was born in Harlem, grew up in Queens and played some high school ball in New Jersey. Doesn’t that make him a likely candidate for a job in Brooklyn?
Ivey, who played 10 years in the NBA including two with Durant in OKC as well as a season in China. He is currently an assistant coach with the Knicks specializing in player development. One of the few holdovers on Tom Thibodeau’s staff, he is reportedly being pursued by several teams. Are the Nets among them?
But a year ago, before free agency, Ivey had similar interest, from the 76ers, but the Knicks refused permission to let him talk to other teams. Instead, they reportedly gave him a raise. He was viewed as vital to New York’s pursuit of KD.
So would they relent now? Ian Begley reported that yes, the Knicks are more likely to let him be interviewed ...
The Knicks haven’t made a decision yet on Ivey, but the teams who are interested in Ivey believe that it is likely that New York would allow him out of his contract to pursue other opportunities.
There’s no word if the Nets or other teams have formally asked for permission to talk with Ivey. The other NBA assistant rumored to be on the Nets radar, Phil Handy, of the Lakers is likely to get permission to talk to other teams, head coach Frank Vogel said last week.
The Nets currently have six assistants led by Jacque Vaughn.
What would Ivey bring to a coaching staff? He has a reputation of being able to deal with younger players, both on and off the court, going back to when he played. Reggie Jackson, then of the Thunder, said that in his early years Ivey kept him from “going haywire.” He played a similar mentor’s role with Durant’s development.