With the Knicks’ roster looking set (except for occasional Rasheed Wallace rumor) heading into training camp next week, the team is looking to put the finishing touches on its coaching staff.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported that the Knicks are hiring Dave Hopla to fill a vacant seat on the team’s bench.
Hopla, a well-know shooting consultant, will reportedly play a role similar to that of Kenny Atkinson from last season. He’ll focus on player development and conditioning drills.
The said hiring is an interesting one, given the fact it’s been suggested that head coach Mike Woodson hire an offensive coordinator of sorts as an assistant. While Hopla certainly won’t be depended on to run the offense, hiring a coach known for his shooting suggests the Knicks may want an advisor to work with players on offense.
With so many skilled offensive players already in place, is such a hiring really beneficial? Many of the team’s players are steady shooters. Perhaps one guard who could potentially be aided by Hopla is Iman Shumpert.
Though Shumpert can score in bunches, he’s able to do so because of his athleticism and agility around the basket. Being able to consistently knock down a mid-range jumper (let alone shots from downtown) would really open up his game and force opponents to treat him as a threat.
Hopla, himself, is the holder of an array of world shooting records. You can witness him achieve one for the books (literally) in the clip below. One would have to think he’ll be asked to work with many of the Knicks younger players, a couple of whom may still be raw offensively.
Sources had told KnicksJournal.com that, before Hopla, the team was also considering a development coach with much closer ties to the Big Apple, to step in and fill a similar void.
ESPN New York is also reporting that although Hopla comes into the fold, the Knicks are also still considering expanding their coaching staff to include one more assistant. Former Bobcats coach LaSalle Thompson is a leading candidate for the position.