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Rick Fox says he’s a candidate for Knicks coaching job; Fisher still front-runner

Jun 9, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

This week the New York Knicks reportedly are cranking up their pursuit of Derek Fisher to be the team’s next head coach, mentored by none other than Phil Jackson.

But after watching their verbal agreement with Steve Kerr fall apart, Jackson is working on some Plan B (or is it “C”) options.

Like Rick Fox.

The former NBA player under Jackson with the Lakers who currently is an actor and analyst on NBA TV told NBC Sports Radio on the Erik Kuselias Show that he is a candidate for the Knicks coaching job. Here is the audio (the transcript is below):

Rick Fox: “Phil Jackson obviously is with the Knicks now and I’ve been speaking with him for about 4 months about that very situation. I love supporting him and his vision for what’s going to go down in New York and we’ve had those discussions and so he knows I’m open to working with him and doing something as exciting as resurrecting the chances of the Knicks returning to glory.

Erik Kuselias: So is it fair to say you’re a candidate for the Knicks coaching job?

Rick Fox: “Yeah…I’ve been a candidate for while and what I’m comfortable communicating is that there’s really nothing for me to do. Phil has expressed his interest, and the patience for him discovering who is right for that job is left in his court. I know that Phil is as competent a coach as there ever was so that if you’re a Knicks fan, to know that he’s going to find the right person to work with in that capacity has to be comforting to those people and you just let it play out.”

It sounds to me like Fox is in the pool of assistant coaches/Plan C guys should the push to sign Fisher fall through.

The focus and push from New York is all about Fisher this week, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

One source close to the talks said Monday that “things could take shape quickly in the early part of the week.” The Knicks, though, are approaching this serious stage of talks with a hint of trepidation after the seemingly inevitable hiring of Kerr unraveled.

Fisher could decide he wants to play one more year with the Thunder. He didn’t sound like that as his exit interview after the Spurs eliminated the Thunder, but it could happen.

I am a Rick Fox fan, a high IQ player who would have respect of the players and can communicate his vision well. But he’s not the natural born leader that Fisher is. Jackson is getting paid $12 million a year to essentially change the culture of the New York Knicks — getting the players in place is just one part of making that a functional organization — and Fisher is far better suited to that task.

That said, Fox and Jackson are talking. Make of that what you will.

  1. unxpexted1 - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    Anything to get him off NBAtv

    • madnova - Jun 9, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      I think we are aiming too low if the goal is to get them out of broadcasting.

      Shaq played for Phil, too.

  2. jzone954 - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    So every ex laker are the only candidates ?

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:33 AM

      Steve Kerr never played for the Lakers.

    • theromeo2k - Jun 9, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      Ikr, it does feel that way.

      I wonder what’s next. Kobe announcing a sudden retirement in order to become his former coach’s apprentice?

  3. montrealknowledge - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    Get Bill Cartwright in that convo.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:49 AM

      Bill has no voice to speak above a whisper nowadays, unfortunately.

  4. finsfan71 - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Just dig up Redd Foxx because this is a joke!

  5. birdsofprey305 - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    Phil’s stubbornness to get only candidates that will run his triangle offense will be his demise.

    • genericcommenter - Jun 9, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      Why did they hire Phil Jackson, if they don’t want “Phil Jackson guys?” That’s EXACTLY what he brings to the table- his Phil Jackson centric way of doing things. There’s no reason to pay him $12 million a year for him to hire the type of guys he always beat during his coaching career.

      • mogogo1 - Jun 9, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        All that is true. That being said, I’m guessing they may have figured that at least a few of his guys had some experience. It’s quite remarkable that a legendary coach like Jackson has basically nobody currently coaching who he’s interested in bringing aboard.

      • marcusfitzhugh - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        @mogogo1 – he can’t bring anyone who is currently coaching because anyone who is currently a coach, is under contract. Phil may have other reasons for not going after an “out of work coach” and he may succeed in NY if he gets his way.

        I think NY is following SA’s example. The Spurs have been successful for a long while. That’s because within the Spurs organization, Popovich gets whatever he wants. Pop used to be the GM and VP of Basketball Operations. Pop fired the coach, took the job himself, and has been the sole vision of that franchise. I’m not saying Phil will be the coach, but for him to be successful, he should be the sole vision of the Knicks. That means, no coaches with their own ideas, no owner with his own ideas (Dolan has publicly stated that he’s bought in, but time will tell) and Phil tells the coach EXACTLY what to do. An established coach may push back. A rookie coach may just fall in line – and every knows Phil can coach. Phil didn’t win all those rings by luck, or by simply having the most talent (if all it took was talent, the mid-1970’s 76er team would have owned the NBA). He’s won them because he knows what he’s doing.

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 9, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      Yeah, who would want to stick with a system that’s won 11 of the last 24 championships?

    • sumkat - Jun 9, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      I don’t think it’s his being stubborn, as much as it is just him being Phil Jackson. He can only hire “his guys”. What coach, that has any sort of demand behind him, is going to work under Phil Jackson and Dolan, if they aren’t on board with the program?

      The question becomes, for Knicks fans, was it the system that won him all those titles? Or was it having the best player in the world? If it’s the latter, how does NY find a guy like that? I have to think most NBA franchises think it’s the latter, and not the former, or you’d have a lot more Phil Jackson disciples around the league

  6. bucrightoff - Jun 9, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    He’ll always be Jackson Vahue, not Rick Fox.

  7. loubearkane - Jun 9, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Roy Hibbert better hide his wife

  8. spillz121 - Jun 9, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Wtf? Unfortunately as a knick fan, I don’t see this Phil Jackson thing working out. I hope it does but my gut is saying Nooooo!
    We shall see….

  9. sumkat - Jun 9, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    You gotta respect a guy who came back after having his ankle slashed by a prison guard before the last round of a inmate vs guards…….oh, that wasn’t real life?

    In that case, hiring a guy who couldn’t even focus on his playing career because he was too focused on picking up his next acting role might not be the best idea.

  10. csbanter - Jun 9, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    This cornball actor from that lame The Game TV show, really,really. Phil Jackson is sure doing a great job.

  11. justbhouse2 - Jun 9, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    He would be the first coach to take women from the players

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