An “animated” meeting that involved Knicks owner James Dolan, team president Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills took place after New York’s home loss to the Celtics on February 2nd, six days before the team fired Derek Fisher, a source tells Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. Isola’s source was the same who earlier said Dolan was angry about comments Fisher made in a recent radio appearance on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN 98.7 FM indicating that missing the playoffs wouldn’t be a disappointment. The loss to Boston was New York’s sixth in seven games, and the Knicks have lost four straight since. Isola speculates that Lakers assistant Mark Madsen is among those up for the head coaching job in New York and further wonders if Steve Kerr‘s lingering health problems will lead to top candidate Luke Walton taking over for Kerr in Golden State on a formal basis. The Daily News scribe also finds the question in one of Carmelo Anthony‘s statements since the Knicks coaching change disconcerting.
“You have to continue to put your trust into Phil,” Anthony said. “At this point, what could you do?”
See more on New York’s teams:
- No major deals are likely for the Nets before the deadline, given Brooklyn’s unsettled front office situation and the lack of time before the deadline, sources told Brian Lewis of the New York Post. The team would be even less likely to make a move if it hires a GM who’s never headed a front office before, league sources said to NetsDaily. Bryan Colangelo is the only former front office chief among the three candidates ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported as front-runners for the vacancy. The Nets have reportedly reached out to the Hawks about Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap.
- The Nets would like to hire a GM before Thursday’s trade deadline, but they won’t rush to do so, a league source told Broussard.
- Interim Knicks coach Kurt Rambis is one of Jackson’s closest friends, and the Zen Master believes strongly in how well Rambis knows the game, Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding writes. Rambis, who excels at teaching big men, has had a significant role in helping offseason signee Robin Lopez deliver this season, according to Ding. The interim boss is already showing that he’ll be more quick to criticize Knicks players than Fisher was, having pointed to Jose Calderon‘s defensive shortcomings in particular after Tuesday’s game, observes Marc Berman of the New York Post