So maybe Kurt Rambis isn’t a lock to become the New York Knicks’ permanent head coach after all.
This most definitely comes as surprise. Team president Phil Jackson seemed to only have eyes for Rambis. He eschewed the opportunity to take a look at top candidates Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks, both of whom now have new homes, and the one other prospect it felt like he would consider, Luke Walton, has little incentive to leave the Golden State Warriors for the hustle and bustle of New York’s tire fire.
But David Blatt has now entered the running, and despite what many may think, including yours truly, he’s apparently no smokescreen. From Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal:
On Wednesday, after word leaked that Knicks president Phil Jackson had met with ex-Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt about the Knicks’ head-coaching vacancy earlier this week, a handful of questions emerged as to what it all meant.
Working backward, there is reason to believe that Jackson would give serious consideration to Blatt for the job, despite the fact that Blatt isn’t a triangle loyalist.
Jackson was said to respect Blatt’s offensive mind even before Blatt returned to the U.S. from Israel to take what would later become the high-profile job of coaching LeBron James in Cleveland. In fact, when Jackson served as a consultant for the Detroit Pistons in 2013, he put Blatt’s name on a short list of candidates the team should consider hiring as an offensive coordinator, according to a league source.
It’s not quite clear what this means.
Blatt most definitely seems like a legit candidate now. But does that mean the Knicks are willing to deviate slightly from the triangle to accommodate his Princeton offense? Would Blatt just be installed to run the triangle exclusively, as someone who Jackson respects and could win the press conference among disgruntled fans that have no intention of welcoming back Rambis?
Neither the triangle nor Princeton offense is considered an especially potent system these days, so irrespective of why Blatt is hired, he won’t come in as some high-end offensive savior.
Still, it should come as a good, if not great, new that Jackson is at least partially willing to look beyond Rambis, even if he’s not seeking out the names after which every casual Knicks fan lusts.