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Mark Jackson Offers Mixed Messages On His Interest In Knicks Job

Calls Coaching In NYC 'An Incredible Opportunity,' But It's Unclear If He Wants To
Former Golden State coach Mark Jackson addresses the media before facing the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals at Staples Center on April 29, 2014 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Former Golden State coach Mark Jackson addresses the media before facing the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals at Staples Center on April 29, 2014 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Does Mark Jackson want the Knicks’ head coaching job or not? Would it even matter if he did?

Those are legitimate questions in light of the former Golden State Warriors coach and St. John’s star’s recent comments about what it takes to win in New York City and Knicks president Phil Jackson’s ongoing search for a new bench boss.

According to the NY Post, Mark Jackson, who was let go by the Warriors following their seven-game first round playoff loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, has his reservations about the Knicks’ vacancy because Phil Jackson will likely take a very hands-on approach. However, he called the job “an incredible opportunity.”

What exactly is he up to?

Jackson, who will be calling the NBA Finals along with Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy starting Thursday night on ABC, told reporters earlier in the day that it takes “a special personality’’ to coach the Knicks and not everyone’s “made for New York City,’’ statements that appear to question whether current candidate Derek Fisher and former candidate-turned Warriors coach Steve Kerr have the right stuff.

All indications are Fisher has yet to decide if he’s even ready to retire as an NBA player, let alone become a head coach. Kerr turned down the Knicks’ offer a few weeks ago, presumably to remain closer to home, though his agent, Mike Tannenbaum, told WFAN following Kerr’s acceptance of a five-year offer from the Warriors that he, indeed, may not have been up to the demands that come with coaching in New York.

Mark Jackson, however, seemed to suggest Thursday that he wouldn’t have that problem — if indeed he was even interested in the job.

“As a kid that grew up in New York City, a fan of the Knicks, everybody’s not made for New York City,’’ said Jackson, who went to high school in Brooklyn before being drafted and later starring with the Knicks. “That’s whether you’re management, whether you’re playing, whether you’re coaching.

“To be quite honest, everybody is not built for it. It’s a different animal. It takes a special personality and a person understanding the things that come into play. I’m biased, but I thought Jeff (Van Gundy) did an incredible job juggling all of them,” he added.

According to the Post, Phil Jackson has not spoken to Mark Jackson about the opening, but it’s possible that others in the Knicks’ front office have.

“I do look forward to coaching one day if it presents itself again,’’ Mark Jackson said.. “Right now I’m having a blast with my crew.”

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