Sources close to Knicks team president Phil Jackson recently floated the notion to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com that the Zen Master would consider coaching home games and have interim coach Kurt Rambis lead the team when on the road next season. Jackson has often cited his health as he’s maintained in recent years that coaching is out of the question, but people around the 70-year-old say he appears to have more energy than usual, and he’s reportedly lost 20 of the 30 pounds he gained since taking the Knicks job, according to Shelburne.
It’s unclear what the chances of this kind of arrangement coming to pass are, but it would certainly make for an intriguing compromise if Jackson meets resistance to the idea of hiring Rambis full-time, according to Shelburne’s report. Jackson hasn’t officially committed to keeping Rambis beyond the season, but he has hinted that he’d like to see him earn the removal of his interim tag, which jibes with an earlier report that Jackson was pulling for Rambis to win the permanent job when he named him interim boss. The executive has yet to give any indication he is considering other candidates besides Rambis and many league executives believe he is the Zen Master’s one and only choice for the slot.
Knicks star small forward Carmelo Anthony wasn’t enthusiastic about the notion of Jackson coaching part time and didn’t think it was a realistic option given the executive’s age and health concerns. “Nah, nah, nah. I don’t think that should be accepted,” Anthony said. “I wouldn’t accept that if that was the case. Phil is cool man. He doesn’t need to be on the sidelines no more. He put so many years into this game. He’s cool. He doesn’t need to be on the sideline. I don’t think he’s thinking about coming back down on the sideline. I hope not. Let him ride on out. Let him sit out and be the president.”
This brings me to the topic for today: Would the Knicks benefit from Phil Jackson returning to coaching on a part-time basis?
Jackson’s coaching resume certainly speaks for itself, but he hasn’t patrolled an NBA sideline since the 2010/11 campaign. The game has certainly changed over the past few years and the jury is still out on whether or not the triangle offense, a staple of Jackson’s, is still a viable system in the league. There is also the matter of how players would respond to two coaches leading them and doling out minutes. It could cause a schism within the locker room, especially if Jackson and Rambis differed on the rotation and substitution patterns. It could also place Rambis in an extremely difficult position if players saw him as just a placeholder while on the road and his authority suffered as a result.
But what say you? Is having Jackson as a part-time coach a better alternative to retaining Rambis or hiring a new coach altogether? Take to the comments section to share your thoughts and opinions on the matter. We look forward to what you have to say.