THURSDAY, 9:37am: Berman and Isola both refer to the meeting as an interview, and Mills was present, Berman writes. It was more than just a courtesy visit, according to Berman, who nonetheless maintains Blatt is a long shot for the job. A person close to Blatt believes a scenario is in play that would allow him to become the Knicks lead assistant under Rambis, Isola reports, postulating that such a move would make Rambis an easier sell to owner James Dolan. Still, Blatt and the Knicks discussed only the head coaching position Monday, a source told Berman. The Lakers reportedly plan to interview Blatt for their head coaching job, too.
WEDNESDAY, 10:09am: David Blatt met Monday with Knicks team president Phil Jackson about the team’s coaching job, league sources tell The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). It’s uncertain whether the visit was merely a perfunctory engagement, and it’s not entirely clear whether it constituted an interview, as the Knicks were involved in a back and forth over the definition of an interview in the wake of Jackson’s recent discussion with Luke Walton. Still, Marc Berman of the New York Post previously reported that the team had been in contact with the former Cavs coach, whom Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com first identified as a candidate the Knicks are considering.
Jackson met Tuesday with agents who represent both him and interim coach Kurt Rambis, according to Berman, who hears Rambis remains the favorite for the job. Still, Blatt’s adaptability holds appeal to Jackson, who respects the Princeton offense the coach has employed at times, as Berman previously wrote. Blatt would also be willing to run the triangle, one executive said to Berman. Blatt and Knicks GM Steve Mills have a deep connection that dates to their days as teammates at Princeton. Blatt was an usher at Mills’ wedding, according to Berman.
New York’s coaching search has been narrow, with little chatter about anyone beyond Rambis, Blatt and Walton. Carmelo Anthony has publicly called for the team to at least listen to candidates other than Rambis. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News heard Anthony preferred Tom Thibodeau, who’s since become the coach and chief front office executive for the Timberwolves. Jackson was nonetheless disinterested in Thibodeau, and the Knicks didn’t contact him, Begley reported.