The New York Knicks are 8-16 under Kurt Rambis. In their last 20 games, the Knicks have played at the fourth slowest pace in the league, are running the triangle more but are ranked 28th in offense, however are a surprising seventh in defense, and have been outscored by 1.4 points per 100 possessions.
Those numbers don’t exactly scream “give Rambis the full-time job.”
But if there are any Knicks fans still dreaming of Tom Thibodeau being given the reins in New York, Marc Berman of the New York Post squashed them in his latest report. Also, he throws cold water on the Luke Walton dream.
For those tabbing Tom Thibodeau, who looks even more attractive because of the Fred Hoiberg disaster, it’s not happening. The Knicks also are getting a strong sense Luke Walton is not leaving the Warriors this soon. Thibodeau has as much a shot as a Fisher redux.
People I’ve spoken to say Walton may listen to the Lakers when their coaching position opens up, but the Knicks would be a long shot — even with Walton’s relationship with and affection for Phil Jackson — because he doesn’t want to be wed to the triangle that Jackson still wants to run. Not after what Walton has seen in Golden State. Don’t be surprised at all if Walton looks at his options this summer and decides he can be patient and returns to Steve Kerr’s side for another season.
The reliance on the triangle could mean Brian Shaw or a Rambis return — the latter of which Jackson is good with, even if Knicks fans are not.
Brian Shaw is a safe triangle choice and would have been the original pick after Steve Kerr bailed had he not been under contract to Denver in May 2014. But Shaw’s failure to relate to players in the Rocky Mountains has not made him a must-get….
The Rambis-Jackson daily rapport has been unmatched, rarely seen between head coach and president anymore, according to observers. Rambis has no ego. They talk almost every day and have their disagreements. This is what Jackson craved — access and input he could not achieve with the headstrong Fisher running the show. If Rambis returns, Jackson will only get more involved next season, as long as his bionic hips don’t melt.
Jackson may want Rambis, but that is a hard sell.
It’s going to be a very interesting summer in New York. Jackson moved the franchise forward — mostly because of the Kristaps Porzingis pick — but he still has a lot of hard work to do.