Anyone thinking that Jackson will hire a big name coach to lead the Knicks shouldn’t get their hopes up as that is not likely to happen. That means that Mark Jackson likely won’t be coming back to New York any time soon to coach this team.
Instead of a guy like Jackson, who just led the Warriors to back-to-back playoff appearances, the Zen Master is turning his attention to former players.
That means a guy like Luke Walton is on the Knicks radar.
Now you can throw Walton’s name in the hat.
Walton worked as a developmental coach this season with the D-League’s L.A. D-Fenders while also doing Los Angeles Lakers studio work
Instead of a big name, Jackson made it clear almost right off the bat that he wanted to surround himself with his people and a guy who can install the triangle offense.
Sources close to the process told ESPN.com that the most likely scenario, even after Jackson was snubbed by the only candidate he has considered for the position since taking the Knicks’ job in March, remains hiring a younger coach Jackson has worked with previously and can mentor.
Three candidates who will thus receive consideration from Jackson, sources said, are Luke Walton and Tyronn Lue — former players under Jackson who have already begun their coaching careers — as well as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Derek Fisher – if Fisher elects to stop playing after this season as he has hinted.
Sources say that Jackson likewise has interest in a number of veteran coaches he has worked with previously, including Kurt Rambis, Jim Cleamons, Bill Cartwright and Frank Hamblen. Cartwright, in fact, has already interviewed with Jackson since he joined the Knicks, but it’s believed only Rambis from that group would be considered for the top spot on the staff.
In addition to those mentioned, Jackson intends to pursue current Denver Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw, although Shaw has indicated he doesn’t want to leave Denver.
The Knicks are also linked to Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg, although all indications seem that Hoiberg would be a longshot to accept the Knicks job if it were offered.
Jeff Van Gundy and Tom Thibodeau’s names keep being floated out there as well, but neither fits what Jackson is looking for in a coach, a young coach that he can groom and work closely with.
Either way, it looks like the Knicks search for a coach will continue for a while and it doesn’t look like it will end with a big time hire.