Kurt Rambis Rumors
Vogel’s job has been said to be in jeopardy in past years. He would seem a perfect fit if front-runner Kurt Rambis agrees to slide over as the offensive coordinator of the triangle. According to sources, Knicks owner James Dolan felt Vogel outcoached Mike Woodson during the Knicks’ seminal six-game playoff defeat to the Pacers in 2013. The Knicks carried a 54-28 record into the second-round series before being upset – the pivotal moment coming when Carmelo Anthony was blocked at the rim by Roy Hibbert late in the fourth quarter of Game 6.
Blatt has told confidants he has a shot, though Rambis remains a front-runner. Luke Walton, Jackson’s preferred choice, is off the board. As expected, he took his dream job with the Lakers. Once the Lakers fired Byron Scott last week, Jackson knew the Knicks went from long shot to no shot.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt met with New York Knicks president Phil Jackson on Monday to discuss the franchise’s coaching job, league sources told The Vertical. Interim coach Kurt Rambis has remained a strong frontrunner to become the full-time coach, and it is unclear if the Blatt meeting was more than a token appearance in a coaching search. Jackson has been determined to continue to run his triangle offense, and Rambis has been a loyal disciple of the system.
Knicks president Phil Jackson met with Kurt Rambis’ Chicago-based agents Tuesday night in New York. That may well be a sign things are progressing toward Rambis being announced soon as the Knicks head coach. However, Rambis’ agents are also Jackson’s representatives. The agents are also close, longtime friends with Jackson. The meeting could have been a social visit/debriefing. Jackson potentially dealing in Rambis contract negotiations with his own agents makes this uncommon.
Jackson has interviewed Golden State assistant Luke Walton and made contact with former Cavaliers coach David Blatt. But the Zen Master’s coaching search has been narrow, as he had proclaimed it would be, which only has helped Rambis’ bid. Sources said Rambis was the front-runner when the process began, and nothing has changed.
According to a former Wolves staffer familiar with his tenure, Rambis’ 15-67 record in 2009-10 and 17-65 mark in 2010-11 was lowlighted by a bad relationship with their young star, Kevin Love, and owner Glen Taylor, a mixed-bag coaching staff and a push to install a triangle-like offense on a young crew not sophisticated enough to grasp it. Also keep in mind, according to the staffer, the Wolves had been one of the least successful teams in the NBA since being established in 1989-90 and were coming off four straight losing seasons. That’s when Pacers general manager David Kahn left Indiana to take over the Wolves and hired Rambis. “Whoever the coach, Kurt or whoever else, would’ve been under severe stress and pressure,” the staffer said. “The team was terrible.”