“#New Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant lauded ahead of Jazz exit”
August 21, 2020 | 12:15am
The announcement of Bryant as a new Knicks associate head coach will come next week, but he will continue alongside head coach Quin Snyder as long as the Jazz remain alive in the Orlando bubble.
“Johnnie’s contributions have been impactful in many levels,’’ Snyder told The Post in a text message. “He has assisted in game management, advance scouting and individual player development. As much as anything, he has been supportive of me on a personal level. All of these contributions have prepared him well, and I am sure he will have a positive impact on the Knicks program in the same way he has the Jazz.’’
The Jazz are tied 1-1 with Denver in a first-round series. During Thursday’s Zoom call, Snyder said of Bryant’s nearing exit: “I’m happy for Johnnie and his family. It’s an opportunity that he’s earned and deserved. We’re really excited for him.
“He’s been someone who’s been with me since I got to Utah. Tactically, he’s learned [a lot] in the game and on the bench. He’s great on the court with players and you see him develop guys. It’s something we take pride in with our program. Johnnie’s been a big part of that.’’
Donovan Mitchell, Paul Millsap and Gordon Hayward have each cited Bryant’s tutelage. Mitchell in particular is a big fan. Bryant’s presence in New York could be a lure if Mitchell, a Westchester product, wants to come home.
Bryant has also mentored Portland’s superstar Damian Lillard, who has called him “a big brother.’’ They both hail from Oakland, Calif.
Snyder took over as Jazz head coach in 2014-15. Bryant joined the Jazz as a player-development coach in 2013. Knicks president Leon Rose has hired Kenny Payne, Bryant and will soon add Mike Woodson to Tom Thibodeau’s staff.
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