Knicks Next Steps: Hiring The Head Coach

by Jonah Ballow

The word offseason doesn’t really apply to the Knicks as the organization enters a critical summer to solidify a head coach and add pieces in free agency to enhance a team that improved by 15 games in 2015-16.

First, let’s examine the situation on the sidelines and focus on New York’s next head coach.  On February 8, president Phil Jackson relieved Derek Fisher of coaching duties and associate head coach Kurt Rambis was tagged with the interim title for the remainder of the season. 

During Jackson’s media availability two days following the season finale, he confirmed that Rambis would be one of the candidates to receive an interview for the position.  The Knicks president also provided a glimpse into his process for the next hire in New York.

“Only people I probably know will be in the interview process,’’ Jackson acknowledged. “I will reach out to make connections to some people. I’ve been in this position in the NBA over 50 years. I’ve seen lot of situations where coaches end up coming in without simpatico with the general manager. Someone who has compatibility with what I do as a leader would have to be in sync with what we do.’’

The desire for Jackson is to ensure the president, general manager, and head coach is all on the same page in terms of a system for next season and beyond.  The next head man will operate under the Triangle Offense, which was made quite clear last Thursday afternoon at MSG Training Center.

“That’s what I was brought here to do, build a system,’’ Jackson reiterated.  “That’s all part and package of what we’re doing.”

The search for a head coach during this time period is tricky with potential candidates in the midst of postseason action.  Jackson pointed out that the hire could take place in May or not until July.  Rumors have swirled over the last couple days surrounding Warriors assistant coach and former player under Jackson, Luke Walton.  On Monday morning, Jackson addressed the speculation on his twitter account.

The next step for Jackson is likely hiring the coach that will direct a team that reflects his vision for success.  Armed with Carmelo Anthony, the rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis, and significant cap room, the Knicks are hoping the hard work this summer will pay off next April with a playoff berth.

Stay tuned to all offseason for news, features, and daily content.


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