Saturday, June 7, 2014
Walton: No talks with Phil since Kerr loss
By Ian Begley
Luke Walton said that he spoke with Phil Jackson about accepting a coaching position with the New York Knicks while Jackson was courting Steve Kerr.
But Walton said he hasn't talked to Jackson since Kerr turned down the Knicks and accepted a head coaching position with the Golden State Warriors.
Jackson has, however, told Walton, an ex-Laker, that he'd make a "great coach someday."
"I've talked to Phil a bunch; thought about different things and I've talked to him in the past about coaching," Walton said Friday during an interview on ESPN Radio's "The Herd with Colin Cowherd." "He's told me he thinks that I'll be a great coach someday."
Luke Walton, who is familiar with the triangle offense, hasn't heard from Phil Jackson since Stave Kerr turned down the Knicks job.
Walton said Friday that Jackson also asked him "if I'd be interested in moving out to New York ... but I think that was before Steve Kerr got the job in Golden State. I haven't talked to Phil since all of that happened."
Since Kerr decided to go to Golden State, Jackson has zeroed in on Derek Fisher as the Knicks' next coach. Jackson and Fisher talked briefly on Wednesday and are expected to talk again next week.
Walton and Kurt Rambis are also on Jackson's short list. But sources told ESPN.com earlier this week that Rambis and Walton are more likely regarded as potential assistants for the eventual coach.
Jackson has been highly complimentary of Walton's ability to run and understand the triangle offense.
Walton on Friday said the triangle is "not that complicated of an offense. Once you understand the big picture of it, it all starts to make sense."
He said one of the difficult principles to grasp is that "every pass changes the next part of the offense depending on what the defense does and what the offensive player decides to do" and added that the offense can be difficult for young players to understand.
Jackson is expected to implement the triangle offense with the Knicks next season.
Jackson teaching triangle: While Jackson hasn't publicly stated that he plans to run the triangle next season, he has been talking about the offense to players the Knicks have worked out in recent days.
Florida big man Partic Young, who worked out for the Knicks on Wednesday, said in a phone interview that Jackson talked to players about the principles of the offense during his workout.
Knicks' Top Summer Targets
The Knicks clearly need help. Our NBA experts came up with the master list of free agents they're chasing this summer. Photo GalleryTop 25 Knicks
"We went through a lot of the triangle offense and Phil came up and spoke to us about that offense a little bit," Young said. "He was saying how the triangle offense is more of a reactive offense in the sense of, 'We're going to see how the defense is playing us and we have so many options to look for if they're playing us a certain way.' So they have so many options to go from if the defense chooses to play a certain way."
The Knicks don't currently own a draft pick but one league source expects them to target a pick in the No. 30-40 range in the second round.
Jackson said earlier this month that if there was a player the Knicks liked, they would try to obtain a pick to select him.
Young, a rugged big man, may be that player. The 6-foot-9 former Florida center believes he can help the Knicks next season.
"I could see myself being a Dale Davis or a Ben Wallace-type player right now for them," Young said. "They already have Tyson Chandler at the 5 spot. But if I can come in and bring some energy to the team and bring some good minutes, play some good defense and rebounds -- that's the role I like to play."
Asked if the Knicks talked to him about their plans for a draft pick, Young said, "They just said they weren't sure still. They're figuring things out, what they're going to do. There's going to be a lot of free agents out there and if they find somebody they really like, whether it's me or not, I'm sure they'll make a move in the second round, potentially. They might even wait until draft night to do so."