New York Knicks: Bill Cartwright

Jackson, Cartwright talk assistant job

April, 29, 2014
NEW YORK -- Bill Cartwright met with Knicks president Phil Jackson on Sunday and Monday to discuss taking a position on the Knicks' coaching staff, a league source confirmed.

Cartwright, who played for Jackson in Chicago and served as an assistant and head coach with the Bulls, could be added as an assistant under potential head coach Steve Kerr.'s Marc Stein reported Tuesday that the Knicks are trying to complete a deal with Kerr that would install him as their new coach after the first round of the playoffs, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.

Kerr and Cartwright played together for two seasons in Chicago and Cartwright was an assistant during Kerr's playing days with the Bulls.

Kerr also hired Cartwright as an assistant coach with Phoenix during his term as general manager. Cartwright's meeting with Jackson was first reported by the New York Daily News.

Cartwright worked extensively with Amar'e Stoudemire for two seasons in Phoenix. In all, he has been an assistant in the NBA for 13 seasons. He was drafted by the Knicks in 1979 and traded in 1988 in a deal that included then-Bull Charles Oakley.

Cartwright could be seen as a replacement for big-man coach Herb Williams, who was fired along with Mike Woodson and the rest of his staff last Monday.

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Knicks can win if Phil picks right coach

April, 18, 2014
One day after making a plea for his job and why he’s the right man to coach the Knicks, Mike Woodson wasn’t made available to talk about a failed season one last time on Thursday.

In fact, Amar’e Stoudemire said he hadn’t seen Woodson on Thursday at the team facility. Stoudemire sat down for an exit interview with Phil Jackson and Steve Mills and discussed what needed to change with the Knicks. But no Woodson.

Typically, head coaches talk to reporters and players on the last day of the season to explain what went right or wrong and what lies ahead for the team and what improvements need to be made.

Of course, how can Woodson talk about what the team needs to do moving forward when he might not be a part of the future plan? Woodson’s fate was likely sealed much earlier this season when the Knicks repeatedly couldn’t get out of their own way.

Woodson deserves some credit for the Knicks fighting at the end -- albeit too little too late -- to make one final playoff run. But it’s time for a change.

Jackson may not be able to do much in terms of seriously upgrading the roster this coming season due to the Knicks’ limited cap flexibility. But one difference-making move he can make is choosing the right head coach.

If the core of the Knicks’ roster remains the same -- provided Carmelo Anthony re-signs -- then the one game-changing move he can make between this awful season and next season is the coach.

Picking the right coach, one who can motivate this team with a fresh message, one who can make the type of adjustments that Anthony and Tyson Chandler wanted earlier in the season, one who can command the attention of veteran players could be the difference in the Knicks returning to the playoffs.

Jackson wants the Knicks to play system basketball -- in other words, triangle basketball. The Knicks already have the best coaching candidate available on the planet but Jackson says he’s not interested in a return to the bench.

There are plenty of guys from Jackson’s triangle tree who could do the job such as Steve Kerr, Brian Shaw (if he were to become free), Kurt Rambis, Derek Fisher, Jim Cleamons, Bill Cartwright and Frank Hamblen among others.

Kerr and Fisher have yet to coach. But look at how Jason Kidd is doing without prior NBA coaching experience and he’s been doing it without a Phil Jackson to guide him along as an executive.

If Kerr were to be selected by Jackson to coach the Knicks, he would have Jackson’s full support and wisdom. Jackson would do everything in his power to make sure Kerr succeeds.

Core players like Anthony, Stoudemire and Chandler can’t talk enough about their respect for Jackson. So they should in turn respect whomever Jackson hand picks to install the identity he wants for the team.

The new Jackson disciple in charge also could be inheriting a situation that might not be as bleak as some think. If Jackson re-signs Melo, the new coach will have a top-10 player who averaged 27.4 points and 8.1 rebounds this season.

That coach also could also take over a roster with presumably three key players in contract years. Stoudemire, Chandler and Andrea Bargnani all will be motivated to earn a new pay day even if it’s elsewhere.

If Jackson adds a few more veterans to replace the leadership they lost from the 54-win team a season ago, the Knicks could easily be a playoff team again.

When you look back on this debacle of a season, the Knicks missed the postseason by two games to Atlanta. There are a plethora of reasons why the Knicks didn’t make the playoffs. One of them is coaching.

For whatever reason, there were times when Woodson was unable to motivate his team to play better. Heck, there were times when he couldn’t inspire them to show up for a matinee tipoff at the Garden.

Stoudemire said players didn’t always buy into Woodson’s coaching and said next season the remaining players need to be more professional about accepting the coach’s game plan.

“Coach Woodson put together a game plan on both ends of the basketball court,” Stoudemire said. “And there were times that we didn’t totally buy into it.”

Chandler intimated the Knicks have bigger changes to make.

“I think we all have to be on the same page,” Chandler said on Thursday. “I think that’s the biggest key. A winning culture. Got to establish a winning culture, if not, you allow history to repeat itself.”

That’s where Phil comes in. Jim Dolan is paying the Zen Master a fortune to lay down a winning foundation starting now.

A critical ingredient to a winning culture is the head coach. Hiring the right coach could seal the deal with Melo. And it could be the Knicks’ only way of truly improving the team for next season.

The 25th anniversary of a miracle win

December, 24, 2010
No matter what you are doing Christmas Day, if you commit to watching the Knicks and the Bulls, stick with the game all the way through, regardless of the score.

Because history says you never know what will happen for the Knicks on Christmas Day. One game in particular, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, serves as the ultimate teacher.

In the 1985-86 season, the Knicks were in their second year of being decimated by injuries to star forward Bernard King and center Bill Cartwright. Rookie center Patrick Ewing would eventually fall victim to the malaise that infected the franchise for three seasons, one similar in nature to that which befell the 2009 Mets.

The Celtics, on the other hand, were on their way to an all-time great season. The 67-15 mark would be their best in the Larry Bird/Kevin McHale/Robert Parish era and the team would go on to win the NBA title.

For the first two-and-a-half quarters, the holiday game at Madison Square Garden matched up as it would be expected to, with the Celtics leading 58-33.

Then came the unexpected -- the NBA equivalent of what the Eagles did to the Giants last Sunday.

The Knicks used a 20-5 run to cut the Celtics lead to 10 by the end of the quarter. Then Ewing took over the game in the manner expected of him when the Knicks made him the No. 1 pick in the preceding NBA Draft. He scored 18 points in the fourth quarter, including 12 straight for the Knicks in one stretch. They would tie the game on two free throws by Rory Sparrow in the final minute.

The Knicks would rally again in overtime, evening things on a 3-pointer by the ever-clutch Trent Tucker with 11 seconds left. The teams would reverse roles in the second overtime, the Knicks playing like a team on its way to the NBA Finals. A Ewing hoop put the Knicks ahead for good, and they would win, 113-104 in one of the most entertaining finishes in the history of the franchise.



Carmelo Anthony
24.3 3.1 0.9 36.2
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.0
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.5
StealsL. Galloway 1.3
BlocksL. Amundson 2.0