Former NBA center DeSagana Diop will join the Knicks as their G League coach in Westchester, creating some intrigue. He replaces Derrick Alston.
Diop was a former Jazz assistant for four years with Knicks assistant coach Johnnie Bryant and trade target Donovan Mitchell.
Diop, whose agent used to be Knicks president Leon Rose, is leaving the Rockets as an assistant coach to be a G League head coach — which usually isn’t a step up. The Knicks also have a vacancy on the coaching staff after Kenny Payne left for Louisville.
Hence, there could be a scenario in which Tom Thibodeau is fired during the season, Bryant is promoted as head coach and Diop becomes the lead assistant.
Diop, who is from Senegal, was hired in Houston as essentially a big-man coach after being a respectable defensive center.
Diop played from 2001-13 with four teams (Cleveland, Dallas, New Jersey and Charlotte). After retiring, Diop went into coaching, working with the Texas Legends of the NBA G League in 2014-15 and 2015-16. Now he’s back in the G League, but for how long?
Diop also is the cousin of Knicks personnel director Makhtar N’diaye, who was the first player from Senegal to play in the NBA.