May 15, 2014, 4:07 PM EDT
As we told you before, Phil Jackson really didn’t have a fleshed out Plan B if Steve Kerr shot down the offer to be head coach of the Knicks, because who turns down Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks?
That news has led the forces of chaos in the New York to decry this as a disaster, as if the untested Steve Kerr was some kind of panacea. Kerr was an inexperienced coach Jackson thought he could mold.
So it turns out Phil Jackson’s Plan B is to find another inexperienced young coach with potential he can mold. That according to Marc Stein at ESPN, who throws out a couple names.
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 said Jackson also intends to explore whether the Denver Nuggets are in any way amenable to releasing Brian Shaw from his contract in exchange for some form of compensation. Shaw is a longtime Jackson favorite who, after missing out on numerous head-coaching jobs, just completed his first season with the Nuggets, posting a 36-46 record despite numerous injuries to front-line players.
Shaw has said he doesn’t want to leave Denver. He may mean that, but he would have to say that anyway to keep his players happy. What he would say when the check is on the table is another good question. However, the Shaw to New York odds are long for this reason — what compensation do the Knicks have that the Nuggets want? It would have to be a pick, the Nuggets would want a first rounder, and the Knicks don’t have one they can move until 2017.
I have this feeling Derek Fisher is going to make the Jason Kidd leap to the bench this summer. Maybe not in New York, but somewhere.
Jackson is apparently not very interested in more established coaches (ones who would come with their own ideas and ways of doing things).
He may bring in guys that he has close ties with from the past, such as Kurt Rambis or Jim Cleamons, but seems to prefer them in a lead assistant role.
The names Jackson likes are not very “sexy.”
But one source close to the situation insisted that Phil Jackson is not worried about selling New Yorkers on his eventual hire.
It’s going to be an interesting summer in New York.
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