Bill Cartwright Rumors

In a move that suggests that Steve Kerr is close to taking the Knicks’ head coaching job, Bill Cartwright has emerged as Kerr’s first lieutenant after interviewing for an assistant coach’s position with the team, the Daily News has learned. Cartwright, a former Knick center and long-time NBA assistant coach and head coach, was in New York last weekend to meet with Phil Jackson, according to a person close to Cartwright. Kerr was also in the city last weekend to talk to Jackson about the head coaching post, and it’s probable that Cartwright and Kerr met to discuss a key position on Kerr’s new staff. “Bill wants to come work for the Knicks,” the source said.
Bill Cartwright: I really didn’t notice any big distinctions (other than the language barrier) in coaching the players in Japan from the NBA. The Japanese players all want the same things that the non-Japanese players want: playing time. They want to score and they don’t want to be blamed for anything. Probably the biggest difference is Japanese players will rarely show or tell you how they feel. No one is demanding to be traded.
Cartwright is the second former NBA head coach to be put in charge of a team in Japan’s professional league. Bob Hill, who coached Cartwright in 1986-87, guided the now-defunct Tokyo Apache during the 2010-11 campaign. Cartwright says he’ll be with Osaka until the end of the season and then decide what he’ll do next. “You never know,” Cartwright said. “If you had told me in January that I would be over here I would have said you are crazy. I am a basketball coach, I know that, so I’ll be coaching somewhere.”
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With 12 games in the books since Bill Cartwright took over as the Osaka Evessa’s new head coach, his message at the gym, wherever practices and games are held, has been simple and constant. Cartwright preaches “defense, defense, defense,” Evessa big man Rick Rickert told Hoop Scoop in a recent telephone interview. The Evessa are very much a work in progress, but at 6-6 (entering this weekend) since Cartwright became the second former NBA head coach to lead a bj-league team — ex-Tokyo Apache bench boss Bob Hill was the first — there are some positive signs to build off. After all, the Evessa were in complete disarray throughout most of their first 24 games (19 defeats).
The Bulls are hosting a reunion of the 1991 championship team on Saturday at the United Center. One starter who is not expected to attend is center Bill Cartwright. Cartwright is an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns. They have a home game Sunday afternoon against Orlando, so it would be a challenge for him to get to Chicago and back. Coach Phil Jackson also has a previous engagement. The Lakers are playing in Dallas on Saturday night, while the Bulls are hosting Utah.