Bill Cartwright

Knicks Notes: Jackson, Rambis, Anthony, Dolan

Knicks president Phil Jackson will consider other coaching candidates beyond Kurt Rambis, but only if he knows them well and they believe in the triangle offense, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Jackson said the coaching search could stretch through July, presumably to see if Golden State assistant Luke Walton would be interested. Jackson admitted the Knicks “came apart at the end of the season,’’ finishing 9-19 after Rambis took over, but he added that the interim coach will get an interview. Berman lists Brian Shaw, Bill CartwrightRick Fox and Scott Brooks as others likely to be interviewed. Jackson may also take the recommendation of GM Steve Mills and talk to former Cavaliers coach David Blatt.

Ex-Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau may be left off that list, as Jackson is devoted to the triangle and lashed out at critics of the approach. “That’s what I was brought here for — to install a system,’’ he said. “That’s all part of the package. Who are these people? Do they have 11 championships to talk about?”

There’s more postseason news from New York:

  • Jackson would like to bring free agents Langston Galloway and Lance Thomas back next season, Berman tweets. That also applies to Derrick Williams if he doesn’t decide to opt out of his $4.598MM deal.
  • There has been speculation about Carmelo Anthony forcing his way out of New York if the Knicks don’t have a productive summer in free agency, and the veteran forward said again today that his greatest desire is to win, tweets Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal. “I’ve thought about [playing somewhere else],” said Anthony, who could waive his no-trade clause and demand to be dealt elsewhere. “Only thing I think about is winning more, whether it’s here or somewhere else.” (Twitter link).
  • The coaching decision will be vital to Anthony and owner James Dolan, according to Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. Isola calls on Dolan to order a meeting with Anthony and Jackson where they can discuss their vision of the next coach. The columnist also urges Jackson to give up on the triangle and adjust to “the modern NBA,” which includes interviewing Thibodeau, Blatt, Brooks, Mark Jackson and Patrick Ewing.

Atlantic Notes: Cartwright, Walton, Sixers

Bill Cartwright is waiting to hear from either Phil Jackson or Steve Kerr about an assistant coaching position, writes Mitch Abramson of The New York Daily News. According to the article, Cartwright had met with Jackson back in April about joining the Knicks bench if Kerr was hired as coach. On his lack of recent contact with Jackson, Cartwright said, “We’re waiting for them to make a decision, obviously about the head coach and there’s nothing going on.” On possibly working as an assistant under Derek Fisher, Cartwright said, “That’s a Phil question, not my question. I’m looking to coach. There’s really nothing more to say, outside of that. I’m looking to coach.”

More from the Atlantic Division:

  • Luke Walton also hasn’t heard from Jackson since Kerr spurned the Knicks for the Warriors, writes Ian Begley of Jackson was possibly interested in bringing in Walton to help coach the triangle offense, and according to Begley, Jackson said that Walton would make a great head coach someday.
  • With an abundance of picks in this year’s draft, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie needs to take a bold approach to jump start the team’s rebuilding process, writes Tom Moore of Calkins Media.
  • The Knicks worked out Johnny O’Bryant, Semaj Christon, DeAndre Kane and Akil Mitchell, tweets Adam Zagoria of

Steve Kerr Likely To Pick Coaching Gig By Friday

Steve Kerr is likely to choose the team he’ll coach next season by Friday, a source close to Kerr tells Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. We heard earlier tonight that Monday marked when Kerr was expected to begin dialogue with Phil Jackson and the Knicks about a coaching role, but talks had yet to commence between the two sides. The Warriors appear to be New York’s primary competition, but Marc Stein of reports that the Jazz have attempted to wedge their way into the race for the former Bulls sharpshooter (Twitter link).

Sources tell Isola that Kerr is concerned about Knicks owner James Dolan‘s hands-on management style, and that Kerr would have no interest in taking the role if it wasn’t for Jackson’s presence within the organization. Reports have claimed New York remains the front-runner for Kerr’s services, but taking a gig with the Lakers or Warriors would allow Kerr to keep living on the West Coast. Plus, Golden State’s young roster is undoubtedly appealing to the soon-to-be first-time coach. Stein nonetheless says the Knicks still have an overwhelming lead on the other teams attempting to land Kerr (on Twitter). That’s why the Lakers haven’t viewed Kerr as a candidate for their open coaching job.

If the Knicks miss out on Kerr, Isola says the recently fired Mark Jackson shouldn’t be completely ruled out as a candidate for the position, but it’s more likely the Zen Master chooses to hire someone close to him. Isola points to Bill Cartwright, who has already interviewed with New York about a possible role within the organization.

Phil Jackson was reported to have told Carmelo Anthony that he expects to hire Kerr. Earlier reports indicated the Lakers didn’t consider Kerr to be a realistic candidate for their coaching vacancy, but Isola labels him as the top candidate for Los Angeles, New York, and Golden State. In fact, the Warriors, who have been linked to Stan Van Gundy, would reportedly prefer to land Kerr, even though the current TNT analyst has never coached at the NBA level.

And-Ones: Colangelo, Hoiberg, Warriors, Knicks

Grantland’s Zach Lowe examines the value of players making between $5MM and $10MM a year, several of whom are having a significant effect in the playoffs. Sources in NBA front offices tell Lowe that they’re reluctant to sign players who command such salaries because they fear the criticism of reporters conditioned to believe such “middle class” players aren’t worth the money. Still, acting union executive director Ron Klempner tells Lowe that he’s observed no drastic change in the league’s willingness to pay players at that rate. Here’s more from around the league:

  • Bryan Colangelo‘s name has been linked to the Pistons‘ front office vacancy on multiple occasions of late, and SportsNet’s Michael Grange hears that he’s indeed a leading candidate for the job. Tim Leiweke, CEO of the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment group that owns the Raptors, praised the former Toronto GM for his work with the team in an interview with Grange that’s included in the piece.
  • Fred Hoiberg would probably be ahead of Steve Kerr on the Warriors’ wish list if they were to seek a new head coach for next season, according to Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group. Hoiberg spoke this week on 1700 AM radio in Des Moines to express that while interest from NBA teams flatters him, he’s content as Iowa State’s head coach, as Nate Sandell of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities points out.
  • The Warriors aren’t pleased with Mark Jackson‘s depleted coaching staff, according to Kawakami, and if Jackson remains head coach, they’ll pressure him to upgrade it, Kawakami believes, pointing to the issue as a possible stumbling block for Jackson’s return next season.
  • The Knicks interviewed Bill Cartwright for an assistant coaching job, reports Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, who points to Cartwright’s ties to Kerr as further indication that Kerr will be the team’s next head coach.

Coaching Rumors: Jazz, Knicks

The Jazz do not currently have a timeline set for finding their new head coach, writes Jody Genessy of the Deseret News. Genessy adds that GM Dennis Lindsey is entering uncharted territory, as the only time he had been involved in a head coaching search was in 2003 with the Rockets, when he assisted then-GM Carroll Dawson as vice president of basketball operations. Despite his inexperience, Lindsey insisted that the search will be conducted with the “right professional decorum” and later added:

“…we’ll meet quickly, internally…We’ll set some criteria. We’ll look at some objective measures. We’ll look at some subjective measures about coaches and who’s going to be the new leader of the Utah Jazz and define some timelines about who we’re going to interview.”

According to Genessy, the new coaching hire will be decided on as a group that includes Lindsey, Jazz owner Gail Miller, CEO Greg Miller, Miller Sports Properties president Steve Miller, team president Randy Rigby, executive VP of basketball operations Kevin O’Connor, and CFO Bob Hyde.

You can read more coaching-related links below:

  • Genessy mentions that in addition to Jazz assistant Brad Jones, Lindsey has close ties with Jeff Van Gundy (who the Rockets ultimately hired to succeed Rudy Tomjanovich in 2003), Suns assistant Mike Longabardi, and Bulls assistant Andy Greer. Along with Jones, Genessy lists Jim Boylen and Ettore Messina as possible candidates, just as we had noted from Mike Monroe of the San Antonio-Express News and ESPN’s Marc Stein earlier today.
  • Former Bulls player Bill Wennington tells Newsday’s Al Iannazzone that Steve Kerr and Phil Jackson would fit together well in New York: “Their history together and just the way they work together and have worked together in the past with the offense and everything is a good combination…To me it’s a no-brainer.” Though Wennington admits that he has an interest in coaching, he tells Iannazzone that he hasn’t spoken to Jackson about possibly joining the Knicks.
  • Iannazzone lists Frank Hamblen, Jim Cleamons, Bill Cartwright, Scottie Pippen, Kurt Rambis, and Derek Fisher as a few names who could join the Knicks in some capacity at some point. As Marc Berman of the New York Post mentioned earlier, Ron Harper could surface on the team’s radar as well.

Fallout From Jackson/Knicks Press Conference

Here’s a roundup of more Phil Jackson/Knicks-related notes worth passing along tonight..

  • Though it was made clear that Steve Mills will continue to handle the duties of a general manager in New York, sources tell Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News that Jackson will be allowed to choose a “basketball man” to help him run the front office. At that point, Mills will have more of a ceremonial role once Jackson has his preferred brain trust in place.
  • The above piece shed some light on Ronnie Lester potentially being brought in to assist Jackson. Lester, who served as the No. 2 to Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak when Jackson was with the Lakers, would be a viable executive that New York fans could feel better about, says Lawrence. If not Lester, then that person would have to have strong ties to Jackson in order to receive consideration.
  • The Zen Master may have alluded to a plan to “work the bushes” in order to improve the roster, but people who have spoken with him recently say that he’ll deliberately wait until Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, and Andrea Bargnani come off the cap in order to accommodate another star and perhaps other pieces.
  • The thought of Jackson luring Jim Paxson away from the Bulls front office to be his “basketball man” is an intriguing one, opines Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, who also envisions Steve KerrJim Cleamons, Bill Cartwright, Pete Myers, and Kurt Rambis eventually joining Jackson’s regime (Twitter links).
  • James Dolan tells Scott Cacciola of the New York Times that he sought Jackson’s approval on several deadline deals the team tried to make this season: “If it was a trade that didn’t fit what he was thinking — and I couldn’t tell you the specifics of what he was thinking, but I knew he had a plan … I believed he was coming on board, and I felt I should consult him.”
  • The Knicks owner also shared how he plans to let Jackson and Mills operate: “They’re going to come in, and they’re going to tell me what they want to do. They’re going to tell me how much it costs, and I’m going to say yes — assuming it doesn’t bankrupt the company. I don’t think they’ll come in with a bankrupt-the-company scenario, but I’ve told them that I’m willing to spend. We need a championship here.”