Wasn’t the next step always just a matter of time?
The New York Knicks are giving strong consideration to making Kurt Rambis their full-time head coach, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that Rambis, who has served as the Knicks’ interim coach since the early February firing of Derek Fisher, is the preferred choice of Knicks president Phil Jackson, who sources say is pushing for a new multi-year deal for Rambis
Rambis had been trying to win down the stretch to prove he deserves this job, starting Jose Calderon and Sasha Vujacic. It took Carmelo Anthony telling Rambis to use young players more for the lineup to change. And it’s not as if Rambis were winning while leaning on the veterans.
More troublingly, Rambis doesn’t sound like someone who understands how to best develop Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis – young, talented and already productive – is the Knicks’ most valuable player. They should build around him, and that starts with a coach who maximizes and grows Porzingis’ ability.
Jackson likes Rambis personally, and Rambis could boost Jackson’s ego. If Rambis, who flamed out with the Timberwolves, succeeds with Jackson’s support while running Jackson’s beloved triangle, that would make Jackson look great.
But would Rambis win? I sure wouldn’t bet on it, though there might not be a better available coach as committed to Jackson’s philosophy – which is the problem in itself. The Knicks need the best available coach, not the best available Jackson sycophant.
When word surface previously about Jackson’s desire to retain Rambis, I speculated Jackson might just be trying to lower expectations for his eventual hire. If that’s the case, Jackson sure has taken the bit far.
If this is real, Knicks fans are stuck hoping owner James Dolan overrules Jackson – which could open the door for more troubling meddling down the road. Remember, Dolan pledged to give Jackson full control of the team. But if this is what granting autonomy gets you, what’s the point?