Tag Archives: phil jackson

Knicks chasing hard after Fisher, want to hire him this week


The Knicks have intensified their pursuit of 39 year-old Derek Fisher and are looking to hire him as their head coach this week. Fisher won 5 championships under Knicks President Phil Jackson during his playing career, the end of which he is expected to announce shortly. ESPN’s Marc Stein was the first to report the news on Fisher. Fisher is the all-time record holder in playoff games played and is considered a strong leader both on and off the court. Fisher served as the president of the NBA Players Association from 2006 to 2013. 

Jackson has reportedly only shown interest in inexperienced coaches with whom he has a prior relationship, including Steve Kerr, who Jackson thought he had landed before the Golden State job opened up and Kerr took a deal with the Warriors. Fisher fits what Jackson is looking for: Smart, responsible, young (for a coach), a Jackson pupil, and somebody well-acquainted with Jackson’s “Triangle Offense”. Jackson reportedly plans on being very involved in the coaching of this year’s team even though he will not be taking the job for himself, so whichever coach Phil hires will certainly be running things the way the 13-time NBA champion wants them to be run. 

I think Fisher would be a solid hire, and since he will be guided by arguably the greatest coach in the game’s history if he takes the job, the Knicks should have some newfound structure on the court this coming season. Everybody thought the Kerr deal was wrapped up, so there’s obviously no guarantee that Jackson will be able to reel Fisher in. But with New York’s main competition, the LA Lakers, reportedly dropping their pursuit of Fisher, expect the longtime point guard to be announced as the Knicks’ coach before too long.

-Tommy Rothman


New York Knicks Coaching Search: Breaking Down the Main Candidates


By Tommy Rothman

As you may have heard, the Knicks need a coach. Phil Jackson’s top target, Steve Kerr, recently took a job with the Warriors, leaving the Zen Master hanging. So who will the Knicks turn to next? Here is a breakdown of the candidates who have been linked to the Knicks in some way over the past few months, as well as some other guys who could conceivably enter the picture.

The Big Names

Jeff Van Gundy


WHY: Had success coaching the Knicks in the 90s, well-respected in the league, would be a very popular hire.

WHY NOT: Has never worked with Phil, no reports indicate that Jackson is considering bringing him aboard.

Mark Jackson


WHY: Former Knicks star would be welcomed at MSG, did a solid job coaching the Warriors, still young enough to adjust to Phil. Has reportedly been added to Phil’s list as a candidate. Melo reportedly would like to play for him.

WHY NOT: Has never worked with Phil, doesn’t run the Triangle (yet), has a job with ESPN, reportedly clashed with management in Golden State.


George Karl


WHY: Was the Coach of the Year in 2013 before being fired by Denver, has won over 1,000 games.

WHY NOT: Has blasted the Knicks publicly in recent years, his arrival would almost certainly send Carmelo Anthony elsewhere.


Tom Thibodeau


WHY: Considered one of the game’s elite coaches, would transform the Knicks defensively, bring an instant culture change.

WHY NOT: Under contract with Chicago; the Knicks would likely have to provide draft pick or player compensation to the Bulls.


Lionel Hollins


WHY: Led Memphis to the Western Conference Finals in 2013.

WHY NOT: Seems to have a weak reputation in coaching circles despite his success.

Doc Rivers:


WHY: One of the best leaders in the league, a creative mind with the clipboard . Could leave LA in wake of Sterling scandal.

WHY NOT: With Sterling likely on the way out, he’s probably not going anywhere.


Phil Jackson


WHY: The most decorated coach in NBA history, instantly brings legitimacy to the team. The job is his if he wants it.

WHY NOT: Has repeatedly said that he is done coaching, in part because of his health.

Jerry Sloan


WHY: Legendary coach who manned the helm for the Jazz for 22 years. Has been linked to the Knicks on occasion.

WHY NOT: Might not be interested in coaching again, and probably wouldn’t make any adjustments for Phil.

John Calipari


WHY: One of the most successful coaches in the NCAA.

WHY NOT: Seems unlikely to ditch his comfortable position in Kentucky for the NBA.


The Triangle Guys

Brian Shaw


WHY: Deep knowledge of the Triangle, did a solid job in Denver, might be interested in working for his old coach.

WHY NOT: Under contract in Denver (although they might let him out), not the flashiest name.


Derek Fisher


WHY: Has led championship teams on the court running the triangle and has more formal leadership experience as the former head of the NBAPA. One of Jackson’s best Triangle pupils, will retire at the end of the season.

WHY NOT: Has no actual coaching experience. Lakers might steal him away.


Scottie Pippen


WHY: Won 6 championships running the Triangle on Jackson’s Bulls, Knicks have reportedly shown interest.

WHY NOT: Has no coaching experience and isn’t considered a major candidate. Could still come aboard as an assistant.


Kurt Rambis


WHY: Has a close relationship with Jackson and solid knowledge of the Triangle.

WHY NOT: Poor coaching record up to this point would make him an ugly hire. More suited for an assistant position.


Mike Dunleavy Sr.


WHY: Veteran NBA coach who has reportedly interviewed for the job. Has used elements of the Triangle despite never playing for Phil.

WHY NOT: Again, has never played for Phil. Ran into legal trouble a few years back. Lakers could pursue him.


Luke Walton:


WHY: Knows the triangle, his name was reportedly thrown around by Knicks executives.

WHY NOT: Hiring him would be a PR disaster, not a strong candidate.


Tyronn Lue


WHY: Knows the triangle well, probably a better candidate than Walton.

WHY NOT: Still doesn’t have much going for him, hiring him would be a surprise.


Metta World Peace


WHY: Knows the Triangle.

WHY NOT: Is only in this article to help me make the point that knowing the Triangle does not necessarily make a good coach.


The Wild Card

Patrick Ewing


WHY: Knicks legend, would be welcomed at the Garden, should have been given a chance years ago.

WHY NOT: Has a job as an assistant in Charlotte, so the Knicks might have blown their chance. Has never played for Phil. Would be better suited as an assistant than an assistant coach in NY.


In all likelihood, one of these men will be the next coach of the New York Knicks. My money at this point is on Fisher, although I am hoping for JVG or Mark Jackson.

And oh yeah, here’s a meme:


-Tommy Rothman

Does Metta Want Back In With Phil In Town?


Metta World Peace, who played (or rather, rode Coach Woodson’s bench) for the Knicks earlier this season before asking for a buyout and being released, reportedly wants back in now that Phil Jackson is running the team. This story first caught some eyes when Metta told reporters he “absolutely” would NOT have accepted a buyout had he known that Jackson— with whom World Peace won a ring while playing for the Lakers— was coming on board. Today, CBS and the NY Post are reporting that sources close to Metta claim that he “abso-bleeping-lutely” wants another shot with the Knicks next season. Metta knows how to play defense, which means he could fill a need for this team. Jackson has specifically complained on the Knicks’ lack of perimeter defense and proper footwork. With Phil in and Mike Woodson almost certainly on the way out, this could be worth watching.

-Tommy Rothman


BREAKING: Knicks, Jackson Finalize Deal, Press Conference Tuesday


The Knicks and Phil Jackson finalized an agreement Friday that will make the legendary coach the team’s President of Basketball Operations, according to sources. With the team announcing that a “major press conference” has been scheduled for Tuesday morning immediately after the Jackson news broke, it isn’t too hard to guess what the Press Conference is about.

Welcome aboard, Phil.

-Tommy Rothman

Phil Jackson, Knicks Finalizing Agreement


Earlier this week, we reported that Phil Jackson, who won 11 NBA championships as a coach with the Lakers and Bulls and 2 as a player with the Knicks, was leaning towards accepting James Dolan’s offer to become the Knicks’ President of Basketball Operations. Now, reports are leaking that the two sides have agreed in principle to a deal that would make Jackson the highest-paid executive in NBA history, and possibly net The Zen Master a minority ownership stake in the team. The details should become more clear in the coming days, but as things stand, it appears that Dolan has gotten his man.

-Tommy Rothman