The New York Knicks and President Phil Jackson are at a very important crossroads right now. After everyone, including New York, pretty much assumed Steve Kerr would be Jackson’s first coaching hire, Kerr spurned his old coach by taking the Golden State Warriors head coaching position.
After whiffing on Kerr, the Knicks are now back at square one. Rumors have them looking at guys like Kurt Rambis, Derek Fisher or Tyronne Lue, but with a job as high-profile as the Knicks, hiring one of them would likely not appease the fanbase.
Hiring an unknown at the head coaching position also might be a problem for Carmelo Anthony. Lost in the shuffle of the head coaching search is the fact that the Knicks star is likely headed to free agency, and the organization needs to do everything they can to convince the forward to stay in the Big Apple.
According to ESPN New York, the first step in doing so might be to hire a guy Melo likes a lot, former Warrior coach Mark Jackson.
A source with knowledge of the situation said last month that Carmelo Anthony would embrace the opportunity to play for Mark Jackson. Anthony plans to test free agency in July. Bringing in a coach that he’d like to play for would certainly boost the Knicks’ chances of keeping him.
The Knicks will likely take a long look at any candidate that Anthony may prefer. It will be interesting to see if the team makes a hire prior to free agency, or uses input on the head coaching position as incentive once Anthony hits free agency.