NEW YORK — With Phil Jackson now firmly in place as president of basketball operations with the Knicks, many believe he will want to install the Triangle offense next season, which leads to speculation that he will be bringing in coaches to teach it who have had previous experience running it under Jackson’s watch.
Mike Woodson is the current head coach of the Knicks, and just as many believe his job status will change as soon as the season is finished.
But despite lacking that specific skill set on his resume, he lobbied a bit for the opportunity next year as he spoke to reporters before Wednesday’s contest against the Pacers — just in case his new boss might have been listening.
“Could I teach it? Absolutely I can teach it,” Woodson said. “But it’d be even better if he helped me teach it. That would be great. Who would be better in teaching the Triangle than Phil Jackson? So if that might be the case and I get that opportunity, sure. I know I can teach the Triangle offense. It’s basketball. It’s what we do.”
Outside the visitor’s locker room, Pacers head coach Frank Vogel explained that while he didn’t know why there aren’t teams that run the offense exclusively at the NBA level anymore, many of its principles are staples of offenses used by just about everyone.
“Obviously Phil perfected it,” Vogel said. “There have been some people who have tried it and failed. I’ve had extensive conversations with [former Pacers assistant and current Nuggets head coach] Brian Shaw the last couple of years. Even though every team doesn’t have ‘the’ Triangle offense, there are Triangle concepts in every team’s offense — the spacing, the cutting, the pinch post stuff.
“It’s a big part of our offensive practice, we just don’t call it the Triangle,” Vogel said. “It’s not the Triangle, but there are so many Triangle concepts that are present in every team’s offense.”
On the surface, Woodson is not wrong. It’s just highly unlikely he gets that chance.