HoopsHype Phil Jackson rumors

April 23, 2014 Updates
April 21, 2014 Updates

Kerr is part of the conversation, and the two sides are deep into discussions, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the Knicks' situation. He's at the top of the list. It's becoming clear Jackson likes the idea of getting the band back together, even if the band's greatest hits were years ago. Jackson likes what's familiar, and he's going to go with whom he trusts. That's why Jackson's connections to his great Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers teams are expected to permeate the Knicks. USA Today Sports

Steve Kerr, long considered the leading candidate to become the next head coach of the New York Knicks, said on Monday, "I do anticipate talking with Phil Jackson at some point." New York Daily News

Kerr admitted that he and Jackson, his former coach in Chicago, have remained close since Jackson retired from coaching. "I would often have dinner with him on the road if I was playing for another team even, just to catch up," he said. "I went to his daughter's wedding a few years ago in Montana. We've been very close. And so I've known for years that Phil wanted to do this - not necessarily in New York, I thought he was going to end up in Seattle last year if the Kings had moved to Seattle to become the Sonics - but I knew that he was done with coaching [AND]that he was more interested in being a team president and building a franchise. And I think he'll be very good at it. It's going to be very interesting and obviously my name is being thrown around. I do anticipate at least being part of the conversation and we'll see where it all goes." New York Daily News

So it would be with Jackson, Kerr and whomever is brought in to serve as the day-to-day GM in New York. League sources say Jackson is expected to hire a right-hand man in the front office as well, with GM Steve Mills remaining with the organization but not in that role. CBSSports.com

Phil Jackson made his first major decision since becoming Knicks' president. As expected, Mike Woodson took the fall for the Knicks missing the playoffs for the first time in four years. Woodson and his staff were relieved of their duties, the Knicks announced Monday morning. Jackson fired Woodson five days after the Knicks finished a disappointing 37-45 and failed to reach the postseason in the watered-down Eastern Conference. Woodson was 109-79in 2 ½ seasons on the Knicks' bench. His.580 winning percentageranks third in franchise history, behind Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy. Newsday

April 20, 2014 Updates

Last week, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson told his players to expect personnel changes this summer. Apparently, Jackson also expects the returning players to be in better shape next season. According to an NBA source, Jackson has talked recently about his disappointment in some of the Knicks’ conditioning -- or lack thereof -- this year. New York got off to a slow start this season and never really recovered. Some analysts pointed out that players didn’t come to training camp in proper shape, which led to the early-season struggles. ESPN.com

It’s unclear which players Jackson was talking about when he mentioned a lack of conditioning. J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert were coming off of offseason surgery and Mike Woodson mentioned that Shumpert was dealing with minor injuries throughout camp, which may have hindered him early on. Jackson’s unhappiness over conditioning may lead to changes among the team’s medical and training staff next season. ESPN.com

The stars are starting to align for an eventual reunion of Phil Jackson and Jim Cleamons in New York. Cleamons, the former Knicks starting point guard, and Jackson were teammates in New York in the late 1970’s. From there, Cleamons became Jackson’s right-hand man on the bench for nine of the Zen Master’s 11 coaching titles — four with the Bulls and all five with the Lakers. Cleamons, now a Bucks assistant coach, would seem a perfect fit as top assistant — a veteran and master of the triangle who could help potential new head coach Steve Kerr. Kerr has emerged as Jackson’s leading head-coaching candidate. According to an NBA source, Cleamons is interested in rejoining Jackson’s Knicks in any capacity. Already, former Bulls personnel man, Clarence Gaines Jr. is on board with the Knicks in an unnamed front-office job and was in Portsmouth, Va. with team brass this week for the second day of an important pre-draft camp. New York Post

The NBA source said Cleamons also would have interest in anything Jackson has to offer, including a personnel gig. The NBA source also said Cleamons is a big fan of his former player, Kerr, and his ability to be a head coach because of his “quick learning curve.’’ There probably isn’t another assistant coach as well-versed in the triangle offense as Cleamons. New York Post

April 19, 2014 Updates

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