Why Phil Jackson is on the right track in Knicks’ coaching search

Keith Schlosser

Phil Jackson provided a glimpse into his progress with the Knicks’ coaching search. And although Derek Fisher is, at this point, considered to be a favored candidate, such a search is still wide open as New York explores a handful of potential leaders.

USATSI_7813999_110579513_lowresJackson is taking his time with such a process, but with Carmelo Anthony’s potential impending free agency steadily approaching, the Knicks’ President will need to provide the team’s superstar (along with everyone else) with a more accurate direction sooner than later.

Still, if anything is clear at this point, it’s that Jackson appears to be going about things in the right way.

At first, the idea of a thirteen-time NBA champion like Jackson potentially opting to hire a first-time head coach was a bit underwhelming. A proven winner with plenty of connections (and a resume that commands respect from just about anybody in the NBA), there’s no doubt Jackson could have his pick from the cream of the crop. Would hiring a young coach result in Jackson and the Knicks selling themselves short? The Hall of Fame coach turned executive hasn’t exactly explored all options, but even if he had and were coming up short, wouldn’t stepping in himself to coach be a more impressive move?

Not exactly. Jackson is more concerned with building a winner, by developing a core group from those with whom he has realized success with previously. Whether or not that creates a splash in the public eye now appears irrelevant.

Ironically enough, hiring an up and coming coach would likely provide the Knicks with a bit more of Jackson’s potential influence than bringing in an already established veteran coach would.

The 68-year-old is physically unable to meet the grueling demands of a traveling schedule in The Association. Having said that, in presenting Fisher and/or a hungry NCAA coach with an opportunity to lead the Knicks, perhaps such a hire would be more willing to accept guidance from Jackson in return.

Bringing in a newbie, so to speak, would mean such a first-time NBA coach would want to lean on Jackson even further. The executive could be present during home practices and maintain a presence in the locker room, all the while ensuring his influence is felt throughout.

Perhaps in hiring a first-timer, the Knicks would end up benefiting from dual coaching perspectives (Jackson included), providing them with a touch of the best of both worlds.




67 comments
Seth Plaut
Seth Plaut

According to Woj, Fisher is clear favorite for Knicks job, with Lakers not even expressing interest into seriously hiring him, as they want someone more experienced. 

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

So can someone remind me why Mark Jackson cant come here and learn the triangle from Phil,


Mark was a coach for three years in Golden State.  It's not like he's some long tenured coach with a set "system" that he can not deviate from.


I get that Phil would PREFER someone who has has had a past relationship with but that list of candidates isnt as long as you'd think.

jax13
jax13

Marc gasol in the triangle offense would be beautiful

Darwin Hernandez
Darwin Hernandez

Is John Starks on the list? I remember him coaching in the minors briefly and am sure Phil is very acquainted with John. Also we all know he has "competitive fire". That would be awesome!

theking
theking

@Seth Plaut  well looks like you got your wish as mj wont be hired even tho most ppl want him to coach .. Im ok with fisher but kerr was a def no no

jax13
jax13

This is not news, this is common sense. The problem is the players we won't to trade have little value

chudogz1
chudogz1

@BiggieTKB. Too many similarities to WoodRow!! Good motivator, not great play caller, unless u love ISO

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@BiggieTKB 

I'd assume that his problem isn't the coaching end of the business, it's his interpersonal relationship issues with both management and his coaching staff. He seems to be a very difficult person to manage and was let go because of it.

johneco
johneco

@Darwin Hernandez  Why don't we just get JR Smith to be player-coach.  Jeez what will we hear next.

theking
theking

@bonobo  def don't want love. we ran that course of paying a injury prone power forward big money .... we need a pg (rondo, kyrie)

brookdon
brookdon

Durant couldn't handle the media here.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@thatsagoodpoint 

Kyrie is pretty much under Cleveland's control. I don't see how he gets here except under very unlikely scenarios.

SheSaidSpikeWho
SheSaidSpikeWho

Phil said he wants someone he's had ups and downs with so that he knows they can disagree in their jobs and still be able to work together for the team. He wants to know that they've had their trials and tribulations...a stable relationship. It is very important.

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@illmatix Funny that people were clamoring for Lionel Hollins who was also fired after a 50 win season and a trip to the Western Conf. Finals.

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

@Knicks_Fanatic @BiggieTKB Only Joe Lacob knows why Jackson was fired.  what he was quoted as saying was 


"There's a different CEO that may be required to achieve success at different stages of an organization's development," Lacob said. "When you're a startup company it's one thing, when you're a small-growth company it's one thing and when you're a mature company that's trying to reach a billion in sales - or in this case win an NBA championship - perhaps that's a different person. And we just felt overall we needed a different person."


i think the friction derived from the owner picking up his option rather than negotiating a new deal.  My guess this the owner put several layers of management between the coach and the owner after hiring Jackson.  Everyone works better when there is a clear chain of command.


i wouldnt look to closely at the charred remains of his Golden State tenure.  the results in Golden State speak for themselves though  that isnt the totality of his experience.   Lacob wouldnt be the first owner to fire the wrong guy.

theking
theking

@thatsagoodpoint @jax13  I like westbrook but I don't think he is a good fit next to a dominant scorer ... melo will demand the ball and not take a backseat like Durant which could cause friction

Darwin Hernandez
Darwin Hernandez

@johneco Does this mean that you are comparing JR to Starks? That's a clear sign you never saw John play. 

chudogz1
chudogz1

@BiggieTKB. I'll pass on Lionel too

jax13
jax13

Jr is the anti-Starks. Starks hustled. Jr does not. Plain n simple. Starks took pride in defense. Jr absolutely does not.

The only similarity is they both have no conscience with shots :)

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@theking @Knicks_Fanatic @thatsagoodpoint 

So? How does he get to NY?
Anyone can call and ask for a player..

theking
theking

@thatsagoodpoint @theking @jax13  agreed. just want this team to have chemistry ... I know melo would respect rondo dominating the ball because he would put melo in the right spots like billups was doing ... he would respect kyrie because according to media kyrie is like a little brother I just do see a connection with westbrook

brookdon
brookdon

And both had stretches where they were at the polar ends of hot and cold.

jax13
jax13

I love that......how bout this one:

Rondo Timmy marc gasol melo millsap

jax13
jax13

I know because rondo does not shoot well that everyone thinks he could not do well in triangle. Triangle is read n react, I think he would do great in the triangle, also his defense neutralizes other point guards.

Westbrook is a great scorer but not a pg. Kyrie would be great cause of his offense.

I think rondo would benefit the most from being on a Phil jax team.

jax13
jax13

I agree he is not a head coach at all.

theking
theking

@jax13  if his defense gets a little better then yea but other then that Idk we lost a lot of leads when teams decided to attack him

theking
theking

@thatsagoodpoint @theking @bonobo

im trying let me know if this works

rondo to 10 mill a year

affalo makes 7 mill

melo makes 17 mill

pau gasol makes 3 mill

marc gasol make 12 mill


that's 49 mill if every one takes a pay cut. pau wouldn't get much more the that being 34 years old rondo basically makes that much now affalo is in that current contract melo should take that paycut or 18 and 12 mill a year is good for a center these days .. no?


I know highly impossible but just a thought 

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@thatsagoodpoint @Knicks_Fanatic 

Right. I just think it is unlikely that he will opt out of his rookie deal, nor do I think Cleveland will risk losing him for nothing. If he goes RFA. that would be 2015 and Cleveland could then work a sign and trade. He would get out of town and be able to get max money from someone.

theking
theking

@jax13  I doubt we run triangle every single play of the game ... the next coach would run it but also some other plays to get melo the ball in a good spot let marc do his thing on the block and let rondo or kyrie run wild ...

theking
theking

@thatsagoodpoint @jax13  why you say that? what if we run the triangle and other plays that can get rondo involved?? its not like he is a big time scorer anyways he wants to control the tempo

jax13
jax13

I know but I think he will work hard on his defense, he was only a rookie last season. I love his attitude n his offense. Timmy in open floor is an aspect we need.

theking
theking

@knega  me? ok that's why its a dream lineup I never said that it would happen

jax13
jax13

Westbrook plays defense sometimes not all the time. He scares me cause he is all over the place. He takes a lot of shots away from Durante too.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@thatsagoodpoint @Knicks_Fanatic 

Well here my take on Kyrie.

1) Plays out his contract in 2015 and goes UFA in 2016. His destination team will need to have the cap space to sign him. He will be looking for $15 million. If they don't, they need Cleveland to sign and trade.

2) He plays out his contract in 2015 and extends through a sign and trade to his destination team.

3) He goes RFA and risks Cleveland matching the offer.

4) He signs an extension with Cleveland before October 31, 2014.

I just don't see how we can have the cap space in 2016 or have the goods to trade for him in 2015. If we plan to have that much cap space in 2016, it will mean a lean 2015. Phil is not going to wait 2 years for the possibility of getting Kyrie.

theking
theking

@thatsagoodpoint @theking @Knicks_Fanatic  that's true. wouldn't that give us more leverage if we wait it out ?


cavs wont get much if kyrie goes to a rental and im sure they wouldn't want to lose him for nothing so ...

Kenny Kaufman
Kenny Kaufman

Is Westbrook really attainable? Can you see OKC ever giving that guy up? I would settle for Reggie Jacson! Get Aldrich at the 4 and we are good! We might still have a little money to play with!

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@theking @Knicks_Fanatic @thatsagoodpoint @bonobo 

No one is going to do us any favors. The players want to get paid. The Clippers just sold for $2 billion. Guys may want to play for Phil, but they also must get paid. They might take a bit less, but not a big paycut. Money talks.

Show me the money!

brookdon
brookdon

Thats way too large a paycut to expect a player at rondo's caliber to take.

theking
theking

@brookdon  he only makes 11 mill now. yea Celtics can offer more but if they are not putting the right cast around him I bet he would bolt and take less money

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@thatsagoodpoint @Knicks_Fanatic 

If Phil can't sign Melo and misses out on his top targets in 2015, Dolan will probably give him the axe. We would be then pretty much a lottery team.

With Kyrie, it's just that we are in poor position to acquire him. We can't trade a draft pick until 2018 and have only THJ as an asset. If he wants out, he can do that. Getting to the Knicks is tricky and he will have multiple suitors.

Kenny Kaufman
Kenny Kaufman

Melo won't go a penny less the 20 mil per! And he'll get it!

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@theking @Knicks_Fanatic @thatsagoodpoint @bonobo 

If Melo wants to play for Phil and the Knicks, money will never be an issue. His agents will let Phil know what Melo wants and he will get it. They are not going to lose him over a few million.

theking
theking

@Knicks_Fanatic @thatsagoodpoint  thing is ... he will have many suitors but that doesn't mean he wants to go there .. he wants his brand to grow (cavs management have said that's all he cares about) and what other market can do it? what do the lakers have to give cavs? would kyrie want to play with 35 year old kobe? supposedly he wants new York since he is from the tristate ...