Phil Jackson is the man to lead the New York Knicks forward

The answer to where the team should turn for their next coach may be right under their nose already.
Phil Jackson has the role of president of basketball operations for the New York Knicks, but he could be more use to the team as a coach. Andrew Gombert / EPA
Phil Jackson has the role of president of basketball operations for the New York Knicks, but he could be more use to the team as a coach. Andrew Gombert / EPA

The rumour-mill surrounding the New York Knicks’ search for a new coach is starting to enter weird territory.

There is Mark Jackson, the just-fired former Warriors coach who can currently be seen on ESPN helping announce play-off games. There is also Derek Fisher, who can currently be seen on ESPN playing in play-off games.

Tom Thibodeau, recently seen guiding the Bulls through a disastrous first-round loss to the Wizards, is apparently a possibility. So is Brian Shaw, who took the Nuggets through an underwhelming season. And now Rick Fox’s name has been tossed around as well. Fox has never coached, but he has been on a reality TV show, which, come to think of it, would maybe accustom him well to the Knicks.

The problem for New York is the combination of a lack of great candidates on the market and the unattractiveness of the job.

Phil Jackson is a coaching legend now operating the front office. It casts a long shadow.

There is also the fact they managed to miss the play-offs competing against the weakest field in memory while being one of the NBA’s most expensive teams.

There is little room to manoeuvre and bring in new talent, Carmelo Anthony might opt out of his contract this summer and, oh yeah, New York is the most scrutinised and demanding market in America.

At the end of the day, it might turn out to just be easier for Jackson to steer this rudderless ship himself.

jraymond@thenational.ae

Published: May 26, 2014 04:00 AM

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