Even though it made almost too much sense for the New York Knicks to contact former Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson once former Knicks top candidate Steve Kerr elected to replace him in Golden State, all signs pointed to Knicks team president Phil Jackson not being willing to reach out to the former Knicks point guard.
A lot apparently has changed in just 24 hours.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that the former Warriors coach is on New York’s tentative list of candidates.
The Knicks are also likely to interview Los Angeles Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis and Milwaukee Bucks assistant Jim Cleamons, assuming they get permission from their respective teams, and the Knicks are also high on Pacers assistant Nate McMillan, too, Berman writes.
Berman also adds that current Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Derek Fisher is very high on the Knicks wish list, but there are concerns that the Knicks would have to get into a bidding war with the Lakers to hire him.
That brings us back to Mark Jackson.
His availability has apparently made the Zen Master change his tune on not wanting to hire a coach that isn’t familiar with the triangle offense.
According to Berman, Phil Jackson is now OK with hiring an established coach who doesn’t specialize in the triangle, but he’d want someone willing to adopt at least a semblance of it.
That being said, Jackson is said to still prefer to hire a young coach that he can groom, which means that names like Nuggets coach Brian Shaw, Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue and Lakers D-League assistant Luke Walton all may still have an advantage over Mark Jackson.
However Carmelo Anthony could ultimately have the final say on who coaches the Knicks next season.
Anthony, who is set to test free agency on July 1, made it known that he would want to play for Jackson, a source told Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.
Suddenly, the Knicks seem willing to give Mark Jackson a look at coming home.
Many view Mark Jackson as still a longshot to land the Knicks job given the direction that Phil Jackson wants to head with this franchise, but the door at least is now open for a return to New York.