Jeff Hornacek and Knicks team president Phil Jackson share a rapport and a respect for each other, leading one source to tell Howard Beck of Bleacher Report that it’s worth keeping an eye on the recently fired Suns coach as the Knicks consider candidates for their newly vacant head coaching job (Twitter link). One of the reasons the Knicks fired Derek Fisher today is because they wanted to get a head start on recruiting Luke Walton, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports says in a video report, but Walton is reportedly determined to remain with the Warriors through the rest of the season. See more on a noteworthy day in New York:
- Fisher strayed too much from the triangle offense, Jackson believed, and players were increasingly upset with Fisher over confusion about their roles, Wojnarowski says in the same video, citing additional reasons why the Knicks made the change.
- Jackson said members of Fisher’s coaching staff weren’t on the same page with each other, suggesting a chasm that had experienced hands Kurt Rambis and Jim Cleamons on one side and relative neophytes Brian Keefe and Joshua Longstaff on the other, as Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily notes. “I was able to surround [Fisher] with some very experienced coaches, and he had support staff, that was really important too. If he didn’t take advantage of it, maybe that’s part of it, too,” Jackson said. “Kurt, Jim Cleamons, some of the guys that have experienced, detailed experience. Derek hired some young guys who have helped him, have great work ethic and kind of meet the standard that he likes. But there wasn’t a consensus in our staff and we decided we needed to have a real good consensus in our staff, interchanging of ideas and communication.”
- Rambis, in one of his first comments as interim coach to reporters today, said making the playoffs this season is the goal for the team, notes Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post (Twitter link). That’s in stark contrast to Fisher’s remark last week on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN 98.7 FM that failing to make the playoffs wouldn’t be disappointing.
- Jackson cited Carmelo Anthony‘s no-trade clause when asked if ‘Melo is off-limits for a trade, and the Zen Master also dismissed any notion that he’d trade Kristaps Porzingis, notes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com (ESPN Now link).