Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer The likes of Derek Fisher, Tyronn Lue and Luke Walton — all former Lakers under Jackson — are among the leading candidates. There’s no doubt Jackson wants to see his Knicks run the triangle offense next season. The type of familiarity and past experience each of the aforementioned candidates have in such a system is undeniably a plus.
Keith Schlosser, Lead WriterWith Steve Kerr committing to the Warriors, Phil Jackson’s continued search for the Knicks’ next head coach has been blasted right open.
The likes of Derek Fisher, Tyronn Lue and Luke Walton — all former Lakers under Jackson — are among the leading candidates.
There’s no doubt Jackson wants to see his Knicks run the triangle offense next season. The type of familiarity and past experience each of the aforementioned candidates have in such a system is undeniably a plus.
Still, there would also appear to be other benefits to bringing one of them aboard as well.
Fisher, Lue and Walton are each under 40 years old. Perhaps such “youth” would assist each respective candidate in relating to the players that much more.
What’s more, such inexperience (at least as a head coach in these cases — Fisher, of course, is still currently competing in the NBA playoffs) could prove to be a benefit when it comes to establishing a working relationship with Jackson. The aforementioned options are not only likely to be more familiar with the triangle, but potentially more open-minded to trying new things and/or taking further direction from Jackson along the way.
A first-year head coach (or someone similar) is likely to bask in the opportunity to learn. Who better to learn or accept proper guidance from, than an eleven-time NBA coaching champion like Jackson?
Jackson has maintained he has no interest in coaching himself, largely in part due to the burden traveling presents. That said, perhaps the Knicks’ President can utilize a young coach in such a way that ensures the latter is a true extension of his vision for success on the hardwood. Such a potential hire may even be more flexible when it comes to allowing Jackson to mentor and/or preach the nuances of the triangle during practices when the team is in the Big Apple.
As the Knicks continue to explore their options, Jackson reportedly met with former Clippers’ coach Mike Dunleavy (Newsday, May 22) recently. Dunleavy claims to be familiar with the triangle after coaching against Jackson over the years, and even playing in a Rockets’ offense himself that was influenced by Tex Winter.
But if hiring a veteran coach were truly the goal, wouldn’t a Jackson confidant like Kurt Rambis or Bill Cartwright already have been granted the opportunity? If that were the case, there’s a good chance they would have been favored over Kerr early on instead.
A young coach is easier to mold than one set in his own ways.
Previous experience is clearly not a necessary pre-requisite for the Knicks’ next head coach. New York needs to make a splash, but perhaps hiring an up and comer will allow them to do just that. Whereas a first-time coach may not boast much experience, they’ll instead have “potential” on their side.
Sometimes it’s easier to get excited about the unknown.