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Report: Phil Jackson prefers Shaw to Fisher, it could be hard to get either

May 22, 2014, 3:30 PM EST

Brian Shaw

For fairly obvious reasons, Phil Jackson would love to have a serious conversation with Brian Shaw about coaching the Knicks. Shaw spent years as Jackson’s right hand man with the Lakers, he both gets Jackson’s philosophy and is respected by players. Plus, Shaw has experience as a head coach.

The only problem is the whole “he is already under contract to coach the Denver Nuggets” thing. To get Shaw out of Denver would require picks to trade (you can’t trade a player for a coach, and Denver will want more than just cash) and the Knicks don’t have a first round pick they can trade until 2018.

With that door mostly closed Jackson is being patent in is coaching search and according to just about every source and report on the planet is waiting to speak with Derek Fisher about the job. The problem there is the whole “Fisher has a job as the backup point guard of the Oklahoma City Thunder” thing. At least that job appears to be ending in a couple more games.

Jackson would prefer Shaw, reports the New York Post.

According to a source, Jackson, the Knicks president, prefers Shaw over Fisher, but the Nuggets would require the Knicks to pay compensation. That appears to be a bigger roadblock to getting Shaw out of his Denver contract than Shaw’s reluctance to come to New York. It’s unclear whether Jackson has formally asked the Nuggets for permission to speak to Shaw.

The source said Jackson hasn’t totally given up hope he somehow can pry Shaw from Denver, especially if the Fisher scenario falls through.

Shaw is a long, long shot at best. Denver likes him and even if Shaw wanted to leave for the bigger stage and the Nuggets were willing to talk the Knicks do not have the assets needed.

Problem is, Fisher may be difficult to get, too.

The Lakers are expected to contact Fisher as well about their open coaching vacancy. Then there is the rumor the Thunder are considering offering Fisher a one year contract as a player and with that let him take on some leadership/coaching responsibilities (the team would have to do this unofficially, under the CBA there can no longer be an official player/coach in the NBA).

All of which is to say Fisher will have options.

Some Knicks fans continue to push for Mark Jackson, but he and Phil Jackson would be an oil and water mix — very different philosophies about life and basketball (to a lesser degree on the later). Jackson wants one of his guys, someone he can mold and who subscribes to his philosophies of coaching.

Keep an eye on Tyronn Lue as someone who could get this job in the end.

  1. crownmethegoat - May 22, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Couldnt shaw just resign from the Nuggets, im sure there is a loophole around it that zen can exploit

    • denverhoopdreams - May 22, 2014 at 4:36 PM

      The Nuggets would let Shaw go if he wanted out, we have a history of doing that.

      Shaw has said behind closed doors and to the media he wants to stay with the Nuggets. Plain and simple. I don’t think you get it.

  2. duhwighthoward - May 22, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    No one will ever trade for a coach again after the Doc Rivers – Clippers fiasco.

    • kb2408 - May 22, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      “Fiasco”? What fiasco? The Clips are better under Doc.

      • duhwighthoward - May 23, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        He got thoroughly out-coached by Mark Jackson and Scott Brooks. They did not improve from last season when Vinny Del Negro helmed the team.

        More was expected from the highest paid coach in the league.

    • kb2408 - May 22, 2014 at 5:47 PM

      If Thibbs is made available I guarantee you teams will trade for him.

  3. mackcarrington - May 22, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    I know I’ve harped on this before, but I can’t get past the fact that Jackson only seems to want former subordinates as his coach. If you were under him before, he wants you under him again. To me, this speaks to Jacksons ego more than wanting to mentor a young coach.

    • fanofthegame79 - May 22, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      I just think he wants a facsimile of himself as the coach.

    • mogogo1 - May 22, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      More surprising than him wanting a subordinate is that his first pick was somebody who had never coached. He clearly wants to mold the guy. That’s good in that Jackson is a legendary coach but possibly bad in that he’s supposed to be learning to be be the GM and run the franchise. Just not sure there’s enough hours in the day to do that and coach through the head coach.

    • genericcommenter - May 22, 2014 at 6:20 PM

      Well, he’ll also take former superiors if they are willing to become subordinates :) But at his age, there aren’t many of those left. Should he hire a 90 year-old coach? Maybe you don’t get that for someone to run his style of basketball, they pretty much have to be former subordinates.

      Why would he mentor a coach in a style of basketball that is alien to him and goes against his entire reason for being and therefore goes against his entire concept of winning basketball?

      • mackcarrington - May 22, 2014 at 8:22 PM

        Well, instead of subordinates, how a bout peers?
        And as someone else pointed out, wouldn’t being the GM be a full time job instead of trying to “mentor” coaches?

    • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 9:04 PM

      I think it has a lot more to do with familiarity and trust than ego. In fact, if he really had a giant ego he would go after a name coach and try to get him to be his puppet.

  4. csbanter - May 22, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Phil Jackson thus far has not worked his Zen magic the way Knick fans had hoped. It appears Phil wants to coach from inside his executive suite. Brian Shaw, Tyronn Lue, when NBA proven coaches like George Karl, Nate McMillan, and even Sam Mitchell are available.

    • m4a188 - May 22, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      That’s true, but have you seen this Knicks team they are not going anywhere for the next couple of years. Phil might as well mentor someone until the team becomes competitive.

    • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 9:07 PM

      Yeah, why wouldn’t Phil want to hire coaches who have only been fired everywhere they went? Doesn’t make sense. You’d think he’d want to jump all over those guys.

    • marcusfitzhugh - May 22, 2014 at 10:37 PM

      THUS FAR???

      In the words of Marsellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction – “You see, this profession is filled to the brim with unrealistic . . . . . . . uh, people”

      Phil Jackson was hired on March 15. That’s almost 3 weeks after the trade deadline ended. Exactly what did you expect THE GM to do in the remaining 23 games of the season? Should Phil have whispered something in Woodson’s ear that magically made them go undefeated, sweep the first two rounds and currently lead the Heat 2-0? Or did you think he’d have KD, Love, LBJ, and CP3 signed by now? Thats what Marsellus meant – unrealistic individuals such as yourself.

      The Knicks ain’t got no problem Jules. Phil is on the thing. Now go back in there, chill out, and wait on Jax who should be coming directly.

  5. 4thquartermagic - May 22, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    Man being a Knicks fan must be brutal. There are 3 ways to turn around a franchise and the Knicks can’t do any of them.

    1) Ability to sign a superstar (did that already and still failed)
    2) Draft a superstar (don’t have any picks until 2018)
    3) Hire a credible coach to turn things around (everyone available is a retread or has a job already)

    Gonna pour out some alcohol for die-hard Knicks fans. No hate just sympathy.

  6. Robert - May 22, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Kicks will sign Rich Kotite.

  7. kb2408 - May 22, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    So, what would Lue be Option E?

  8. mogogo1 - May 22, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    He prefers Shaw to Fisher but preferred Kerr to either of them? That seems kind of odd. I’d assumed Shaw wasn’t on the list because he’s currently employed. Not a great sign that the list is so short that he’s suddenly near the top of it.

    • antistratfordian - May 22, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      I’d probably take Kerr over Shaw and Fisher too. I personally think Brian Shaw is a clown. I have no faith in that guy whatsoever.

      • denverhoopdreams - May 22, 2014 at 9:57 PM

        OH JEEZ, I really hope you’re not a Nuggets fan.

  9. cantonbound13 - May 22, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    The best option is Phil

  10. beach305 - May 22, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    Phil will retire in three years. Mark it down

  11. campcouch - May 22, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    Ron Harper is coaching out in Europe somewhere.

  12. themike31 - May 23, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    What’s BJ Armstrong up to? How about Smush Parker?

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