NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Phil Jackson confirmed Thursday that Kurt Rambis, who served as the Knicks’ interim head coach for the final 29 games of the season, will be interviewed for the job full-time.
Jackson told reporters he will also interview other candidates, adding “probably only people I know.”READ MORE: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Held In The Bronx's Little Italy
“Someone who has compatibility with what I do as a leader would have to be in sync with what we do,” he said.
Jackson sounded as committed as ever to finding a coach who will run the triangle offense. When asked about it, he said, “That’s what I was brought here for to do: build a system. That’s all part and package of what we’re doing.”
That’s what makes Rambis an attractive candidate to Jackson. He is well versed in the triangle, having served as an assistant coach under Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers.
But Rambis’ career coaching record would likely do little to galvinize the Knicks‘ hungry fan base. As an interim coach with the Lakers and Knicks and head coach for two seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Rambis is 65-164.
Rambis said he wasn’t bothered by the fact that Jackson is looking at other candidates.
“He has to do whatever is best for the organization. Period,” he said.READ MORE: Small Business Owners Say Shopping Locally Is More Important Than Ever Amid COVID, Supply Chain Struggles
The New York Post reported earlier this week that if Rambis does not land the head coaching job, he will likely remain with the organization in some capacity, potentially in the front office.
According to reports, the Knicks have reached out to former Cavaliers coach David Blatt and ex-Warriors coach Mark Jackson, but neither has worked with Jackson before nor has run the triangle. Jackson said Thursday he has refused to take or make any calls about the coaching vacancy until after he conducted the team’s exit interviews, which he did Thursday.
Two other potential candidates who would match Jackson’s description are former Nuggets coach Brian Shaw, who played and coached under Jackson with the Lakers, and Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton, who also played for Jackson’s Lakers. However, with the Warriors expected to go deep into the postseason again, Walton likely won’t be available until late June.
Meanwhile Thursday, Carmelo Anthony discussed his future with the Knicks, saying: “As of right now, I’ll be here. No conversation has taken place as far as me leaving or me wanting to leave.”
Anthony has said he wants to be a Knick, but he also has expressed that he wants to win a title before he retires. He has indicated the moves the Knicks, who finished 32-50 this season, make this summer could be key in whether he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause.
Kristaps Porzingis, who just completed his rookie season, said he is undecided about whether he’ll compete for his native Latvia in the Olympics or stay in New York to prepare for next season.
“My heart is saying, ‘You should go and play for your country. You should represent your country,’: he said. “And at the same time, with my head, I’m understanding that it’s a big offseason for me, and I want to really work individually.”
He added that he plans to at least stay in New York until the right shoulder injury that cost him the final seven games of the season is completely healed.MORE NEWS: Man Stabbed To Death In Bay Ridge, Suspect In Custody
The 7-foot-3-inch Porzingis said he wants to add 10 to 13 pounds this offseason, which would bring him to around 245 pounds. He said it’s important for him to bulk up, but he doesn’t want to lose his quickness.