Harris DeckerAfter news broke that Steve Kerr would join the Golden State Warriors instead of the Knicks, my first thought was who would become the front runner for the Knicks job? There are a number of logical answers but I believe that one guy makes sense above the rest. We’ll get to that later.
Mark Jackson is a name that lots of people will bring up. I’ve gone into grave detail about why I don’t believe he is a good fit with the Knicks and I’ll stand by that stance despite Kerr’s move to California. Here’s my full explanation as to why the two Jackson’s would not work well together in New York.
Aside from Mark Jackson, the other names will be Jeff Van Gundy, Lionel Hollins and of course Phil Jackson. All have coaching pedigrees but none seem like the right fit in New York.
Van Gundy would want way more control than Jackson is likely to give him. Hollins wasn’t able to get sustained play from a team that was loaded with talent in Memphis. I’m not sure I want him anywhere near the Knicks. And Jackson has said repeatedly that he doesn’t want to coach the team.
The guy left at the end of the scrum could be Derek Fisher. Similar to Jason Kidd last season, Fisher announced that the 2013-14 season, his 18th in the league, would be his last. Once the Oklahoma City Thunder’s season comes to a close, whenever that may be, I believe it would make a lot of sense for Fisher to become the next Knicks head coach.
Fisher, like Kerr, played for Phil for a number of seasons, winning 5 NBA Championships with the Lakers. A point guard like Kidd, Fisher would be the perfect guy for Jackson to mold into his perfect head coach in New York. He’d be familiar with the triangle offense and be able to work hand in hand with his former coach.
It seems like we’ve been down this road before. The same things that made Kerr viable make Fisher viable. Still, now that Kerr has decided to try his luck in Golden State, I believe Fisher should become the front runner for the Knicks job. The one thing that will work against him is the playoffs. If the Thunder are able to make a deep playoff run, it will take away valuable time from the off season planning for Jackson and Fisher.
Until I hear a compelling case against Derek Fisher, he’s my pick to be the next head coach of the New York Knicks.
Sam SpiegelmanThere is speculation Fisher could be the next in line for Jackson to pursue. After all, he fits the same mold as Kerr — a former Jackson point guard with immense knowledge of the triangle.
I think Jackson is going to go about this coaching search different than most front offices would. He’s used to getting what he wants, so I’m sure he’s not going to settle for an assistant or ex-head coach he isn’t sold on to run his style of offense or one he doesn’t believe is fit to run his team.
I know it’s a long-shot, but I think if Jackson isn’t convinced Fisher is the guy, or can lure Van Gundy from the booth, or can find one of his former assists to take the job (Brian Shaw for instance), that begs the question when Jackson gives himself the job.