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Monday, July 7, 2014
Knicks add Rambis as Fisher's No. 2

By Ian Begley

Kurt Rambis has been added to Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s staff as an associate head coach, the team announced on Monday.

Rambis will be Fisher’s No. 2 on the bench and is the first addition to the rookie coach’s staff.

“Together, Derek and I have started assembling a coaching staff to lead this team on and off the court,” Knicks president Phil Jackson said in a statement. “The three of us are similar in our philosophies and our approach to the game.”

Rambis has had three previous stints as an assistant coach for the Lakers, spanning 12 seasons in total. He worked in Los Angeles under Jackson and was an assistant when Fisher played for the Lakers.

“Kurt is exactly the type of person we want in our organization to help develop our culture of success,” Fisher said. “His vast knowledge and experience as a championship player and coach are traits that we embrace adding to our staff.”

Rambis also was the Lakers' head coach in 1998-99, going 24-13 after Del Harris was fired. He has a strong knowledge of the triangle offense, which the Knicks are expected to implement.

An assistant coach for the Lakers last season, Rambis interviewed with general manager Mitch Kupchak for the team's head-coaching position late last month. That job remains vacant.

Rambis, 56, went 32-132 in two seasons as head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Rambis coached Kevin Love in Minnesota. Love and Rambis reportedly had some disagreements in Minnesota. It’s worth wondering if Rambis’ presence on the Knicks’ staff impacts their ability to land Love in free agency in the summer of 2015 -– if Love even makes it to free agency. There is speculation that Love will be traded from the Timberwolves to a team that he will re-sign with as a free agent. The Knicks are not in the mix to trade for Love.

Rambis also played for the Lakers for nine seasons (1981-88, 1993-95), winning four championships.

Rambis returns to New York 34 years after the team originally drafted him in the third round (58th overall) of the 1980 NBA Draft out of Santa Clara University, although he never appeared in a game for the Knicks. In 14 seasons, he played in 880 regular season games, averaging 5.2 points and 5.6 rebounds for the Lakers, original Charlotte Hornets, Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings. With the Lakers, Rambis was a member of four NBA Championship teams over a seven-year span (1982, 1985, 1987, 1988).

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