Report: Jim Cleamons, Steve Kerr among Knicks coaching candidates

Sam Spiegelman

Santa Claus isn’t coming to town. Instead, it’s Phil Jackson.

With the 11-time NBA championship coach to set to become the New York Knicks’ President of Basketball Operations, Mike Woodson’s time on the sidelines is likely nearing an end.

Jackson will likely have a say as to who the next coach of the team is, and one name that has surfaced in recent days in Milwaukee Bucks assistant Jim Cleamons.

According to the New York Post, Cleamons — a member of Jackson’s coaching staff in both Chicago and Los Angeles — is a candidate to either be head coach or an assistant. Cleamons knows the Triange offense and may be the most qualified coach to teach it. Here’s what he told the Post prior to Saturday’s win over the Bucks:

Cleamons was leery of speaking at length about Jackson since he already has been linked to the Knicks. Cleamons played two seasons for legendary Knicks coach Red Holzman as a point guard from 1977-79 and was Jackson’s teammate.

“Phil is bright. He understands the game. He’s going to put good people around him,’’ Cleamons said. “That’s my feeling. I know nothing else.’’ …

“I know the offense, but I don’t know what his plans are,’’ Cleamons said of Jackson trying to hire a coach who runs the Triangle. “I’m worried about the Milwaukee Bucks. You have to ask Phil that question.’’

Cleamons was also included on ESPN’s “short list” of potential coaches. According to insider Amin Elhassan, Bill Cartwright, Steve Kerr, Kurt Rambis and Brian Shaw are all candidates for the job.

Cartwright, too, has coached the Triangle offense and won three championships playing in it with the Bulls. However, he boasts a 51-100 career head coaching record.

Kerr has a track record of success in the front office, but he’s never been a coach. Being a first-time coach in New York could spell trouble.

Rambis has been an assistant twice with Los Angeles, but his 31-132 record is a tough thing to overlook.

Shaw played and coached in the Triangle under Jackson, and he thrived while coaching in Indiana. He’s currently at the helm of the Nuggets, but could Jackson pry him out of Denver? Is his 27-35 record good enough?




28 comments
Pete Mavrikk
Pete Mavrikk

If 27-35 is the best "experienced" coach, why not go with the guy who's 0-0? Im for Kerr out of that bunch.

Blaze NYK
Blaze NYK

My preference would be JVG or Thibs but this makes sense if its Phil's vision.  Run the triangle and Phil can mentor Steve as a coach same way Riley has mentored Spoelstra in Miami.  

nixredux
nixredux

@kvdaone

Besides the loot, Melo's staying if Phil &co shower him with "love" and wine dine him to prove to him how much he's wanted here. I'm curious to see if, say Chicago does a better job of recruiting him, where he will choose to go. If it comes down to that, then Melo's priorities were never about winning here.

Kvdaone
Kvdaone

Melo stupid if he leaves. I dont think Phil wouldve invested his time if he didnt have some tricks up his sleeve but if Melo leaves hes stupid n he'll never win

jax13
jax13

You wish odom could get his life together for a minimum contract with the knicks.

skot
skot

I hope it is Steve Kerr. The others don't really inspire confidence as far as I am concerned.


As for all the people that talk about Dolan's interference when Donnie was here, I have a slightly different point of view. It seems to me that Donnie was hired and given one mission - to get LeBron. He was given a free hand to do whatever it took to get under the cap and do whatever needed to get LeBron. I may be wrong, but I don't remember hearing much about Dolan's meddling through out that process. In Dolan's mind, Donnie failed in his mission and lost confidence in him. Now fast forward to the Carmelo negotiations. Dolan stayed away, from all I remember reading and hearing, till a couple of days were left before trade deadline. With the Nets getting involved and Carmelo giving no assurance that he will sign with the Knicks either way, Dolan might have thought that he could not leave it entirely up to Donnie given the loss of confidence, and decided to step in and get it done. Landing a superstar was at stake for a second time, and he wanted to make sure it didn't go the way the first one went.


I think it was more a lack of confidence in Donnie, more than Dolan wanting to interfere. We can argue all we want about giving up a lot for Melo, but decisions have to be taken in the heat of the moment with all the pressure building up to the deadline, and consider the risks involved in not getting the player at all. Considering the production of Melo vs the players that we gave up in hindsight, I don't know how we can argue about the deal itself.


This is in no way a support to Dolan and some of the things that go on in the Knicks front office, but just to have a different perspective on what might have happened in the past and to raise hope that it will not be the same in the future with Phil.


bluprint13
bluprint13

People don't realize in the triangle you don't need a Point Guard, just a decent unselfish ball handler. Jackson had Pippen, Odom, And Shaw. Knicks just need a big body that can handle.

Why his teams were so good is had tall wing defenders everywhere because didn't need a 6'2" or under PG. Get shooters and defenders and the triangle is set.

nixredux
nixredux

Why not have Steve Kerr work the FO with Phil and have Jim Cleamons be the head coach?

Btw: Melo's not getting any younger so yea his Bball clock is ticking. If he didn't really change his game for coach Karl, does that mean Melo didnt respect him? How is he going to respect Steve or Jim? Especially when they hit a rough patch, which you know will happen. The pressure will be turned on full blast foreveryone. This could get interesting.

jax13
jax13

I love the idea of a triangle coach...a few triangle assistants then get true knicks on the staff like Ewing.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

Has anybody else heard of John Salley as a candidate to coach?  Its a name ived heard...but not really put out there by the media...he knows the triangle, and supposedly is "zen like" like Jackson is...

Jermaine Carew
Jermaine Carew

Interesting Steve Kerr tried to keep Stat before but Sarver let him walk right?

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

Now let's remember we won't get a new coach until after the season is over. The Knicks still have Woody on board and won't make a move.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

If it's Clemons, Phil will actually still be coaching remotely because Clemons was his right hand man for years.

Ray Jorge
Ray Jorge

Take Steve Kerr add Clemons Ewing Oakley LJ Mase as assistant coaches, trade JR/Felton/Cash for a top ten point guard and were back in biz!

Blaze NYK
Blaze NYK

@skot  The other thing people forget.  Donnie was forced on Dolan by the NBA.  He had to stay away for a few years and it was killing him.  I think he bought into Donnie's plan to clear cap space for Lebron for 2 years but then when that didn't work, even though we got Amare and had a winning team, it wasn't enough for Dolan, who wanted his own big 3 like in Miami.  That is why he interfered with the Melo negotiations and Donnie ultimately left.  This is not any endorsement or criticism of Donnie, just my opinion about how things played out as far as Dolan getting involved after not being involved for a few years.


This is different.  He chose Phil to come here and is giving him partial ownership of the team.  My theory is that after last year's success but then we lost to The Pacers, Dolan again got antsy and thought he knew better on how to improve the team and beat the Pacers.  I don't know this at all but my theory is that he wanted to Bargnani trade and GG was against it or against throwing in a first round draft pick and that is why GG left.  But then it all blew up in his face.  Bargnani isn't actually the reason we sucked this year.  Chalk that up to not having Jason Kidd.  But the total collapse this year after last year, seeing the fans get so upset, worrying about people canceling their season tickets next year, the fear of Melo leaving…I think/hope Dolan has come to a realization that he needs to stay out of the way and let real basketball people do their jobs, even if they don't get results right away.  not every trade, coach, draft pick is going to work out but the worst thing you can do is get anxious when something doesn't work out and make another rash move.  Dolan has done that a lot and its backed us into a corner.   But even though this year has sucked, here we are.  We got Phil Jackson running the show and we can hopefully keep a top 10 player on our team for the next 5 years and have some cap space, get a better coach.  We could turn this thing around quickly.

bluprint13
bluprint13

Ewing is done being an Assistant next gig is a head coaching one. Wouldn't be surprised if Georgetown reaches out to him.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

@Jesus Blas Melo : "Whatever the Basketball Genius wants to do, i'll do"


My only fear is...Melo has shown lack of patience in the past...I think this year he has taken a BIG  step forward in that department, with the atrocity that is/was the Ny Knicks this season.


Hopefully he is patient with Phil...and let things develop.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@Ray Jorge  You really think that crap will get you a top 10 PG?

Start thinking along the lines of Timmy, Chandler, Shump + picks.


Maybe, then maybe, some GM might consider giving you a PG, which won't even be a top 10 one likely.

jax13
jax13

That would be a good hire for georgetown

Raptors

Raptors...

jax13
jax13

Than get oak here