Sportress of Blogitude

Report: Phil Jackson pushing for Knicks to retain Kurt Rambis


Sources are indicating that New York Knicks president Phil Jackson is pushing for Kurt Rambis to be the team’s long-term solution at the head coaching position. And considering the extensive history shared between the two, perhaps the news shouldn’t be all that surprising.

Despite the Knicks going an underwhelming 8-16 since Rambis took over after Derek Fisher was fired on Feb. 8, Jackson reportedly feels that Rambis is the best coach to execute his overall vision for the team, both schematically and philosophically. So much so, in fact, that ESPN reports that Jackson is hoping to sign Rambis to a multi-year deal.

The reasons behind Jackson’s affinity for holding onto Rambis should be quite clear. First of all, Rambis served as an assistant under Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers on two occasions. Secondly, Rambis not only understands how to implement Jackson’s beloved triangle offense, he also will insist it is operated exactly according to Jackson’s principles.

In many ways, Rambis should be viewed simply as an extension of Jackson. And given the Zen Master doesn’t appear inclined to return to the bench in any capacity despite unsubstantiated rumors he would be amenable to serving as a part-time coach — an arguably impossible arrangement — having Rambis running the team is a means for Jackson to serve as a quasi-puppetmaster without having to get his hands dirty, in a manner of speaking.

However, it can be presumably reasoned that Jackson hired Fisher with the same goals in mind. That arrangement obviously didn’t pan out to any conceievable degree.

It merits noting, though, that Rambis has served as a head coach before, and it was an abject failure. As the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves head coach for two seasons 2009-2011, Rambis compiled a woeful 32-132 record. Granted, the Timberwolves organization arguably was in greater disarray at the time then the Knicks are at this point, but the T-Wolves’ failure to show any improvement under Rambis cannot be understated.