Marc Berman at the New York Post reports that Scott Skiles is off the Knicks' radar--because he's on the verge of signing with the Bucks.
Scott Skiles verbally has accepted an offer from the Bucks, erasing him as a Knicks coaching candidate, according to a league source.
Skiles' imminent hiring strengthens front-runner Mark Jackson's candidacy, which received another boost over the weekend with Jeff Van Gundy's endorsement.
The Skiles camp was disappointed Donnie Walsh did not contact them this weekend. Skiles played for Walsh in Indiana.
"They're not going to get a chance to speak to him now," a source close to Skiles said. "The Knicks head coach is not going to be Scott."
Skiles left the Bulls earlier this season after a 9-16 start, only a year removed from winning 49 games and reaching the second round of the playoffs. Though the Bulls were notorious slow starters during his tenure, Skiles reportedly felt he could no longer get through to his young team and asked out. Granted, Skiles' demeanor hasn't exactly earned him the tag of a "player's coach," but he also had to deal with the fallout of the preseason Kobe Bryant rumors and decisions by Luol Deng and Ben Gordon to turn down massive extensions. And while many would have preferred the Bucks land Rick Carlisle, Jeff Van Gundy, or Larry Brown, Skiles brings a proven track record, something the Bucks have lacked since the George Karl era. Skiles' teams in Chicago made their mark with a defensive mindset, ranking second, seventh and first in defensive efficiency between 04/05 and 06/07, so if he can't improve the Bucks' deplorable defensive record perhaps no one can.
Ironically, Skiles is a close friend of the departing Larry Krystkowiak, meaning he would no doubt have a good idea of what he's getting himself into. While Skiles' personality might not be built for the long haul, he's an unquestioned upgrade from the inexperienced Krystkowiak and would represent another step in the right direction for a Bucks' franchise that ended the season in desperate need of an overhaul.