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Report: Phil Jackson focused on young coaches — Tyronn Lue, Luke Walton, Derek Fisher

May 15, 2014, 4:07 PM EDT

Memphis Grizzlies v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Two Getty Images

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?

Well, Steve Kerr.

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.

  1. ncarolinarn7 - May 15, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Oh please. Knicks are going no where. Look for Anthony to flee NY. Good grief. I say none of the above.

    • money2long - May 15, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      U said good grief.

    • hwatt - May 15, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      As a Bulls fan, I’ve been started to sleep a lot easier. Time to finish what we started w/the Deng move and clear out more cap space…

    • sportsfan18 - May 15, 2014 at 9:51 PM

      Knicks fans should HOPE Melo flee’s…

      On another sports website earlier today, another write wrote these excellent words about Melo…

      “Even if we suppose that the Knicks are able to retain Carmelo Anthony (who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer if he so chooses), Kerr would still be in charge of a rebuilding effort with a flawed star on a bulky contract at its center. Anthony’s game, artful though it might be in some respects, doesn’t easily lend itself to a contender. He’s shown that he can carry an offense to a top-10 regular season mark, though his style of play does not augment the contributions of other star-caliber players.

      That’s because Anthony is, in so many ways, a riddle — talented and productive enough offensively to warrant his stature as a star, though difficult to build around in a way that should make a new coach like Kerr nervous. So many other coaches have tried and failed to make Anthony a more complete player, but even after 10 NBA seasons Melo’s defense remains a problem.”

      Melo isn’t going to win a title in his career and if the Knicks fans WANT a title then they need to hope Melo flies the coop…

      • unxpexted1 - May 16, 2014 at 9:06 AM

        Again, what other star has he played with? We don’t know if his game compliments other stars cause his sidekick has been JR Smith. Does he have the type of game that makes scrubs better? No. But that doesn’t mean he can’t gel with another elite player.

      • sportsfan18 - May 16, 2014 at 9:45 AM


        I just copy and pasted what a writer on SI wrote about MeHog/MeBrick…

        Plenty of others with basketball knowledge realize that Melo isn’t all he’s made out to be…

        You’re making excuses for him. He’s played 11 yrs in the league. Let’s say he plays 16 yrs and retires…

        Folks like you will be saying that he never had good teammates etc…

        But, he’ll have played for 16 YEARS and on at least 3 different teams…

        His career playoff record is 33%. He loses 2 out of every three postseason games for his career.

        His career playoff record is so far below others that are “stars” in the league and now after 11 seasons in the league he has no chance to close that gap.

        Maybe it is bad luck, but Melo also isn’t like MJ, LeBron, Magic, Bird and a few others…

        He’s good, but NOT that good…

  2. duhwighthoward - May 15, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Can’t we talk about how famed flopper LeBron James flip-flopped on boycotting next season?

    • ranfan12 - May 15, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      did he?or was that someone just running their mouth about nothing

      • money2long - May 15, 2014 at 5:18 PM

        Maybe lebron was tryna look big and bad in the locker room and when someone relayed his sentiments in public eyes, lebron was like no no no I didn’t want people to take it seriously. Tell them I didn’t say that.

      • sportsfan18 - May 15, 2014 at 9:54 PM

        I have no problem believing he really said it to that man… BUT, when what he said got OUT of the locker room and wasn’t received well by the public…

        It was NOT LeBron that was going to fall on the sword… so the VP of the players union fell on the sword because… well, it’s GOOD to be the KING…

  3. calkinsrob - May 15, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    If Luke Walton becomes the head coach. I will move to NY and get season tickets haha.

    • therealhtj - May 15, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      Anything to get his dull, monotone, lack of insight off the local Lakers broadcast.

      • unxpexted1 - May 16, 2014 at 9:08 AM

        God he is awful on there.

    • sportsfan18 - May 16, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      why say something you WON’T do?

      yeah, the odds are low that he’ll be the coach but even if he does become their coach, you will NOT do what you said…

      so why did you say it?

  4. SBoy - May 15, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    No reason to think any of these candidates who did not play golf with GS owner can’t do as well as Kerr.

  5. drs76109 - May 15, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Jackson wants to coach but not the undesirable aspects of coaching, like travel. He will take the credit, of course. Thats why he is looking at unestablished folks.

    • k3nn3k - May 15, 2014 at 5:15 PM

      “We don’t hire brokers here, we train new ones.”

      • money2long - May 15, 2014 at 5:19 PM

        I thought Jackson only works with the best ?

      • sire2334 - May 15, 2014 at 7:10 PM

        I thought the same thing.

    • eugenesaxe1 - May 15, 2014 at 11:02 PM

      Exactly. He wants to coach without actually coaching. Not really a situation most would want to walk into, you’d rather be hired for your abilities/accomplishments than just being your boss’ parrot.

  6. dollasnsense - May 15, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    Luke Walton, wtf? lol

    Now we know how he got that ludicrous contract with the Lakers…

  7. fiyeaglesfiy - May 15, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Same model as Pat Riley/Erik Spoelstra…it’s a smart play by Phil.

    • pharohislife - May 15, 2014 at 8:19 PM

      Phil Jackson wants a Mini-Me Soo Bad.

      • sportsfan18 - May 15, 2014 at 9:59 PM

        I’ll be his mini me and I’ll do it for ONLY $1 million a season and I’ll take a two year deal vs. the three they wanted to give Kerr…

        The Knicks ARE going to suck for the next two years regardless of who the coach is…

        They have been messed up for too long and are in terrible shape regarding upcoming drafts, over the cap badly this coming season too…

        The Knicks don’t really need a coach the next two years… as whoever it is will most likely not be there 3 seasons from now because when a coach loses a lot, like the new Knick coach WILL, they tend to get kicked to the curb…

        THAT was ONE smart thing I though Kerr did, trying to get a 4th year on the offer from the Knicks. The first two years they will suck and a 3 yr contract means the coach ONLY gets ONE year…

  8. fiyeaglesfiy - May 15, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Same model as Pat Riley/Erik Spoelstra…it’s a smart play by Phil.

  9. jacobk621 - May 15, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    Did you say Luke Walton ?? Are you serious ?? Bwahwahwahwah !!!

  10. R. Edmond - May 15, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    Kerr isn’t inexperienced. He has zero coaching experience.

  11. jzone954 - May 15, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    Jason Kidd seemed to have a successful year after a dismal start to it so I could see someone like this out the norm working out for Phil and the Knicks.

    • eugenesaxe1 - May 15, 2014 at 11:04 PM

      Half of Kidd’s team was around when the game was invented, they don’t need coaching.

  12. jzone954 - May 15, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    But I mean, not only did the lakers say no to Phil, but now Kerr. And at the end of the day IF MELO SAYS NO TO PHIL?!?! Then there’s a huge problem.

    • k3nn3k - May 15, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      Phil has nothing to lose. Lakers, Kerr, and Melo all haven’t won anything in the last few years (Melo hasn’t won anything ever!).

      • brookwell2013 - May 15, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        Not true….Melo led Syracuse to an NCAA title as a freshman in 2005

      • tegan3 - May 15, 2014 at 6:50 PM

        All by himself basically! Championships are much harder to come by in the NBA too…Melos never had a solid #2. You could argue Iverson or Stoudemire but the caveats are obvious.

  13. cantonbound13 - May 15, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    Fisher! Much better leader than Kerr & actually got Kobe to respect & listen to him. He’ll do very well.

  14. honkerdawg - May 15, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    Typical Phil, set someone else up to fail, or if they do a good job take the credit himself. He’s too chicken to coach the team himself since it really has nowhere to go

  15. elcaminobilly - May 15, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    I’ll do it. I have no coaching experience either, but everyone else’s name has been thrown out, so why not me?

  16. 1harrypairatesties - May 15, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    Scottie Pippen ?

  17. mackcarrington - May 15, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    I was under the impression that Fisher was more interested in a front office gig.

  18. csbanter - May 15, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    Luke Walton would be a good option. He has been around the NBA all his life, plus he has that triangle background requirement thing going for him.

  19. chiadam - May 15, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    Luke Walton???

    Enjoy all that, Knicks fans.

  20. campcouch - May 15, 2014 at 11:19 PM

    Jackson needs to come out and say it. The Knicks are rebuilding. The Lakers,Celtics and Knicks have spent too much time depending on stars to sign with them. Time to start drafting again. So a coach like Walton or Lue might have some merit. Jackson could mentor him as the team rebuilds. Do a sign and trade with Anthony and get some picks,because hoping that 2015 will bring stars is a gamble like 2010.

  21. lakerade - May 16, 2014 at 4:42 AM

    Please let it be Luke.

  22. 00maltliquor - May 16, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    1) Ah buh-byee Melo!

    2) Derek Fisher isn’t retiring until someone pulls his jersey off his dead, lifeless body. Dude would play till he’s 50 if you keept offering a contract to him.

    3) All of a sudden Derek Fisher, Tyronn Lue and Luke Walton have become hot commodities. Lol

  23. ebecks34 - May 16, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    So, who’s gonna be the next in line? Sun Yue, Smush Parker, Radmanovic or Josh Powell?

  24. ebecks34 - May 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    And what about Bynum as the shooting coach? They would never miss another half court buzzer beater!

  25. mazblast - May 20, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Anyone who takes this job knows that Phil will take all the credit if the team exceeds its (very low) expectations and that he, the coach, will be the scapegoat if they mange to be worse than the (very low) expectations.

    That said, it’s a great way to get “NBA coach” on one’s resume and to prove one can be an obedient little lapdog for management.

    Anyone who is serious about coaching a winner in this league is avoiding this job like the plague. Little talent, few if any draft picks, an owner from He(l)(l), a CEO who is much more concerned with his image and taking credit than in long-term success, and one of the toughest media markets around.

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