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Report: Former Lakers assistant Jim Cleamons to join Knicks coaching staff

Aug 18, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT

jim cleamons phil Getty Images

When Phil Jackson took over as president of basketball operations for the Knicks, his plan was to place people on the coaching staff who had a familiarity not only with his personal coaching style and philosophies, but also with the Triangle Offense.

Derek Fisher got the head coaching gig without any prior experience, but has been respected in every locker room he’s been a part of, and played under Jackson with the Lakers for several seasons. Kurt Rambis was named associate head coach, in large part due to the experience he had accumulated as an assistant with Jackson himself.

Now, we can add one more of Phil’s former confidants to this ever-expanding list.

From Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times:

Former Lakers, Bucks assistant Jim Cleamons to join Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s staff, reunites with NY president Phil Jackson, sources.

Cleamons also worked with Jackson in Chicago, helping the Bulls win titles in 1991-93, and in 1996.

What Cleamons will bring to the Knicks is a vast amount of coaching experience, but more specifically, it’s his intricate working knowledge of the Triangle Offense — and how to implement it — that makes him such a desirable addition.

  1. sportsfan18 - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Never saw that one coming…

    Wonder why it took so long actually…

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 18, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      He coached for Milwaukee last year, so he may have been under contract.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 18, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        Jason Kidd doesn’t worry about contracts…

        But, good point asimonetti88

  2. cantonbound13 - Aug 18, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    👍 Nice job Phil!

  3. duhwighthoward - Aug 18, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    Jim Cleamons is a brilliant coach. It’s a wonder teams haven’t bent over backwards to make him a head coach like they did for Steve Kerr.

    • mackcarrington - Aug 18, 2014 at 7:47 PM

      Let’s pump the brakes on Cleamons being so brilliant. And consider that maybe teams looked at his 2 years as a head coach in Dallas and decided that he wasn’t worth bending over backwards to make a head coach.

      • genericcommenter - Aug 19, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        Those Dallas teams were made up of the aging bench players from Jackson’s Bulls and Lakers teams but without any of the stars. It’s like what the 1999 Lakers would have been like with Pete Myers and Bill Wennington starting in place of Kobe and Shaq.

      • mackcarrington - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        Phil hadn’t even coached the Lakers when Cleamons took the Dallas job. And there were no aging Lakers bench players on that team. He did however have a young Jason Kidd, a young Jim Jackson, a young Jamaal Mashburn, and a young Sam Cassell.

      • duhwighthoward - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:34 PM

        Here are the players on that 1996 Mavs team listed by most # of games played:

        75 Derek Harper
        56 Michael Finley
        56 AC Green
        47 Eric Montross
        46 Jim Jackson
        44 Chris Gatling
        43 Samaki Walker
        42 Oliver Miller
        41 George McCloud
        40 Greg Dreiling

        You get the idea.

        Considering the roster and injuries, I think it is remarkable they won 24 games that season.

      • duhwighthoward - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:35 PM

        @markcarrington, actually I’m glad you brought up his time in Dallas. It was fun to look that team up and figure out what went wrong.

      • mackcarrington - Aug 19, 2014 at 6:52 PM

        Yeah,I forgot about AC Green being on that team, And what went wrong was that Cleamons just wasn’t a good head coach.

  4. rexgrossman8 - Aug 18, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    He was given a “chance” with Dallas when they had J-Kidd, Mashburn, and Jim Jackson (?) in 96. Dallas didn’t have the personalities willing to buy into it. One season and a cup of coffee was all she wrote for the Mavs. Still pretty cool to be an NBA lifer (player, asst coach) esp given the teams and eras he was a part of. Godd for him.

  5. isaiah007 - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:47 AM

    Man they really trying to be the Lakers East! Maybe Dolan will sneak into Staples and steal those 16 banners! Lol

  6. winniethepootietang - Aug 31, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    im still getting used to having someone calling the shots who has an actual plan, a head coach who actually knows what the hell he is doing and an assistant coaching staff that i actually believe in. the days of giving away picks for garbage players are over.

    thank you jim buss for alienating phil jackson and consequently allowing us to come along and get him,
    – the entire tri state area

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