New York Knicks president Phil Jackson said Monday it was his call to fire coach Derek Fisher midway through his second season and, no, Jackson isn’t about to pull a Pat Riley and step down and coach the team himself.
Back in 2005, Heat president Riley was only 60 and Miami entered the season with big ambitions. Officially, Stan Van Gundy resigned with the team 11-10, Riley returned to the sideline and led Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neal and company to the title. The Carmelo Anthony-Kristaps Porzingis duo didn’t exactly have those same ambitions to start the 2015-16 season, and at 70 and lugging a bum hip, Jackson’s much better off staying upstairs.
"Not one second". Phil on if he thought of taking over himself.
Anthony is still searching for the first title of his career and his first conference final since 2009, when he was still a Denver Nugget playing for George Karl — who’s rumored to be on the hot seat himself at Sacramento. With Kurt Rambis taking over as interim Knicks coach, Anthony is now under his fourth head coach in the past five seasons. The last interim, Mike Woodson, ended up coaching the team for two more seasons — even got to the playoffs — before being replaced by Fisher, who took the job immediately after retiring as a player.
Phil: "Carmelo's on board." Says he's going to move forward w this team.
One big factor that was in Fisher’s favor when he was hired before the 2014-14 season was his familiarity with Jackson’s favored triangle offense. Jackson told reporters Monday that knowing the triangle isn’t mandatory for the next coach, but it is preferred.
Phil, on whether the next coach needs to run the triangle: “It's not paramount, but it's important.”
That would seem to be limiting the job to former Lakers-Jackson disciples when searching for the Knicks’ next head coach, a huge decision now that Anthony is 31 and he has young, up-and-coming sidekick in Porzingis. Of course, Jackson did want to hire Steve Kerr before he wisely bet on Steph Curry. Jackson disciple Brian Shaw, who quickly flamed out in Denver in his head coaching debut, is out there. Rambis is already the interim and Golden State assistant Luke Walton is coming off his nice run filling in for Kerr.
The coaching decision will apparently wait until the offseason. Most pressing now is Jackson’s plan heading into the NBA’s trade deadline that is now just 10 days away. Two players, Jackson hinted, are off the table. The rest, well…
Phil seems to hint both Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis are off the table at the deadline. Admits Knicks don't have a ton of assets.