With the Indiana Pacers’ Saturday night hiring of Nate McMillan, there are now four head coaching jobs left open around the NBA: the Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks. It’s been widely assumed that Knicks president Phil Jackson is going to hire Kurt Rambis, who served as interim coach after the team fired Derek Fisher during the season. But the New York Daily News‘ Frank Isola reports that Jackson recently met with former Pacers coach Frank Vogel, arguably the most high-profile candidate left on the market.
Phil Jackson met face-to-face with with former Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel last week, the Daily News has learned.
The clandestine meeting, which is believed to have taken place in Los Angeles, also included Knicks general manager Steve Mills, according to a team source.
Kurt Rambis, David Blatt and Vogel are the top-three candidates for one of more coveted NBA jobs. Jackson’s meeting with Vogel also raises further questions to whether Garden Chairman James Dolan is opposed to signing off on Jackson’s preferred choice, Rambis.
The fact that Jackson hasn’t hired Rambis yet should give Knicks fans optimism that he’ll ultimately hire someone else, especially if James Dolan isn’t on board with Rambis. Vogel has a strong track record of developing young talent in Indiana and would be a good fit in New York if Jackson is flexible about the need to run the triangle. But the meeting could also be a formality to make it look as though Jackson is conducting a real search before hiring Rambis. How it plays out remains to be seen.