Sportress of Blogitude

Report: Kurt Rambis is ‘beyond unpopular’ among Knicks players

Another day, another unflattering report concerning the seemingly perpetual dysfunction of the New York Knicks organization.

On the heels of Knicks president Phil Jackson recently saying Carmelo Anthony is better off leaving the team and Kristaps Porzingis blowing off his exit meeting with team brass comes a report suggesting assistant coach Kurt Rambis isn’t well-liked among Knicks players.

In fact, the report, via Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski takes it up another disconcerting notch.

“Kurt Rambis, who is beyond unpopular with the players, league sources said,” Wojnarowski writes. “When players want coaching and teaching, they get yelling, sources said. Most wonder about Rambis’ allegiances, because after all, he’s Jackson’s guy, not Hornacek’s.”

Rambis was Jackson’s top choice to take over head coaching duties on a permanent basis for the 2016-17 campaign after serving as interim head coach following Derek Fisher’s ouster in February of last year. The Knicks went 9-19 under Rambis — among other awkward developments — to close out a disappointing 32-50 season.

Perhaps not surprisingly, drama pervaded the uncertainty over who Jackson would hire. It got so bad — and arguably a moot point all this time later — that Anthony reportedly threatened he would demand a trade last offseason should Rambis be hired on a permanent basis.

Obviously, that never came to fruition, as Jackson missed out on his hand-picked choice and instead hired Jeff Hornacek. But the Rambis drama continued to unfold as the 2016-17 progressed.

The notion that Rambis had the backing of Jackson was arguably evident when he was promoted to the primary defensive assistant on Hornacek’s staff. Rumors suggested this promotion was at the behest of Jackson, prompting Hornacek to crack a joke about the awkward situation.

In the end, the Knicks (31-51) suffered through another nightmarish season. How much Rambis’ more prominent role on Hornacek’s staff played into it of course is unclear. But the fact that Woj’s report cast him in an unflattering light certainly seems like a disturbing example of more of the same for the woeful Knicks.

[Pro Basketball Talk]