The Knicks are just a game away from missing the playoffs for a third consecutive season, but the bigger problem facing the franchise is that the team wasn’t even close.
New York has been struggling to add pieces around a still-effective but aging Carmelo Anthony, and has been unable to find the right head coach to guide the club in Phil Jackson’s desired direction.
The Knicks are on their third head coach in three seasons, and Kurt Rambis, who got the interim tag this year after Derek Fisher was fired, is a strong candidate in Jackson’s eyes to get the full-time gig. But there are plenty of questions as to whether or not Rambis is the right match for this set of circumstances, and as Jackson prepares to conduct a more thorough search this summer, at least one interesting name (via ESPN) is reportedly on his list.
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Rambis remains a strong candidate for the job, but, according to league sources, Jackson plans to do his due diligence in the search and consider other candidates who are available.
One name that the Knicks are considering, according to league sources, is former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt.
Jackson views Blatt favorably, according to sources. It’s also worth noting that Blatt played basketball with Knicks GM Steve Mills at Princeton.
In his only full season as head coach in Cleveland, Blatt guided the Cavaliers to within two wins of an NBA title. But there was plenty of drama along the way, and he clashed with LeBron James and others to the point where a change needed to be made in the middle of the current season.
The good news for Knicks fans here is that if Blatt is truly a consideration, it means Jackson is willing to hire someone who isn’t trained in and tied to the triangle offense, which obviously makes for a wider range of candidates.
And, as Blatt would have been more than happy to tell you during his first season in Cleveland, he has tons of successful experience as a head coach overseas that should make him a strong candidate for any NBA situation.