Rambis, for 1 big reason, goes where Fisher wouldn’t: Playoffs matter

Kurt Rambis was named Monday as the New York Knicks interim coach.
Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images

Introduced as the New York Knicks’ interim head coach after Derek Fisher was fired Monday, Kurt Rambis immediately went where Fisher wouldn’t: The playoffs.

Playoffs?!

After losing nine of their last 10 games, maybe the playoffs now seem like a pipe dream for the Knicks heading into All-Star Weekend. But the Knicks are still only five games behind eighth-place Detroit, with Orlando, Washington and Charlotte filling in the gap.

Just about a week ago, Fisher, in the midst of the Knicks’ losing six of seven and falling five games under .500 for the first time all season, told "The Michael Kay Show" on ESPN 98.7 FM that he would not be disappointed if his team did not make the playoffs this season.

"No. … Disappointment in what? We’re a developing team with a ton of new players. There are not a lot of elite teams that are depending on rookies to carry the day. So we have to be reasonable about who we are and where we are and accept what is and not get caught up in what we should be and allow other people to define what our success is."

Rambis believes making the playoffs this season does matter, and he apparently believes it is possible. He probably also believes that if he can right ship and get the Knicks into the playoffs then president Phil Jackson will have an easy choice to remove the interim tag from Rambis’ current title.

Rambis will make his Knicks debut Tuesday at home against Washington. Then comes the All-Star break. Then comes a hugely intriguing end to the Knicks’ season. 

For Rambis, it’s playoffs or bust.