Friday, March 14, 2014
Five coaching candidates for Phil
By Ian Begley
Steve Kerr, who won three titles with Phil Jackson in Chicago, has stated his interest in coaching.
As the new president of the New York Knicks, Phil Jackson has plenty to do to turn around a franchise that hasn't won a title in 41 years. One of his top priorities will be to figure out who's coaching the team next season. Below, we offer five candidates Jackson may turn to:
Listen to Steve Kerr discuss his interest in coaching in the NBA.
Steve Kerr: Kerr won three titles while playing for Jackson and the Bulls. He's intimately familiar with Jackson's triangle offense and has expressed an interest in coaching. The one drawback here is that the Knicks would have a first-year president and a first-year coach if Kerr is brought on board.
Byron Scott: The ex-Laker has 13 years of experience on an NBA bench and is well-respected in coaching circles. But you have to wonder if the hiring of Scott will go over well with Knicks management and the team's fan base.
Brian Shaw: Shaw signed a three-year deal to coach the Denver Nuggets last spring. So it's unlikely that he ends up on the Knicks' bench. But Shaw has strong ties to Jackson. He won three titles with Jackson as a Laker and he is well-schooled in the triangle offense.
Phil Jackson: We know Jackson turned down an offer to coach the Knicks and has expressed no desire to return to the bench. But a source told ESPN LA's Ramona Shelburne last week he is open to the possibility of coaching for a short period of time if it was necessary. So the possibility of Jackson starting next season on the bench shouldn't be summarily dismissed.
Mike Woodson: This is the long shot of long shots, given how the season has gone. But until the Knicks officially fire him, the possibility that Woodson ends up coaching the team next season should at least be considered. Woodson and Jackson both have a strong affinity for legendary Knicks coach Red Holzman, so maybe that helps Woodson, who is under contract for next season, state his case to remain on the bench when he gets a chance to talk to Jackson. Also, the Knicks have won five straight and are making a late playoff push.