Kurt Rambis Rumors

Associate head coach Kurt Rambis held court during availability for the first time since the regular season began. The NBA is coordinating the media here, not the Knicks. “Our guys work hard in practice, get along, so from a coaching standpoint, it still has been a pleasure to work with the guys,’’ Rambis said. “There isn’t anyone on the coaching staff or management-wise who isn’t in it for the long haul and committed to make sure it does happen. But it’s going to take time.’’
Instead, Jackson has kept his distance, says he hasn’t addressed the team in three weeks, hasn’t traveled on a road trip. He revealed he goes over each game with Fisher and associate coach Kurt Rambis for “points of emphasis.’’ Jackson has said previously he wouldn’t travel because of chronic health issues. Monday, he said he also believes “it tends to undermine a coach’s authority. I didn’t feel that way as much as a coach, but I do as a man who sits in this position and has a very young coach that needs the support of his staff.’’
Jackson put on a fullcourt press and offered him, as The Post reported, a lucrative package for a lead assistant at $1.4 million per year. “[Jackson] knows my work ethic, knows my understanding of the offense,’’ Rambis said. “He was intent to hire me. He wanted to convince me this would be a great situation. “It’s hard not to imagine being involved in basketball and not having some intrigue for the Knicks and playing or coaching at the Garden. Having an opportunity to work with Phil and Derek, I looked at it as a great opportunity to get them back to the upper echelon where it belongs.’’
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But Rambis, a former Knicks draft pick, hopes his biggest help to Fisher is getting him to cope with the pressures of coaching in New York. “I’m giving him countless suggestions, even how to monitor his time,’’ Rambis told The Post in his first interview since his July hire. “Even something as small as making sure he works out. It’s important for all head coaches to find that stretch of time. Because the job is very consuming and becomes an obsession. Derek is a perfectionist, constantly thinking about the game. He did it as a player and it’s worse when you become a head coach. I want him to find time to do it.’’
New York Knickerbockers President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has named Kurt Rambis associate head coach. The hiring reunites Rambis with Head Coach Derek Fisher, with whom he spent 10 seasons with at the Los Angeles Lakers. “Together, Derek and I have started assembling a coaching staff to lead this team on and off the court,” Jackson said. “The three of us are similar in our philosophies and our approach to the game.”
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With Derek Fisher officially introduced as the New York Knicks’ head coach on Tuesday, the Lakers have granted the Knicks’ permission to interview Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis about joining his staff, according to a league source familiar with the situation. Rambis would seem to be a natural fit to serve as one of Fisher’s assistants since they are both considered close to Knicks president and former Lakers coach Phil Jackson. Rambis’ coaching philosophies also mirror some of the triangle elements and post-up schemes that Jackson likes in his system. It is not clear when a formal discussion would take place. But Rambis is “willing to listen” about possibly joining Fisher’s staff, according to a league source familiar with his thinking.
The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the search. While team officials have already interviewed Byron Scott, Lionel Hollins, Mike Dunleavy, and Kurt Rambis, it is not certain that former Lakers guard Derek Fisher will interview in person for the job as had been widely expected.
Rambis, who worked as an assistant to the ousted Mike D’Antoni with the Lakers last season, and current D-League developmental coach Luke Walton of the L.A. D-Fenders are on Jackson’s short list as well. But sources say Rambis and Walton are more likely regarded as potential assistants for the eventual head coach, with another of Jackson’s former players with head-coaching experience — Bill Cartwright — having already received an interview for what was presumed to be a spot on Kerr’s bench/p . Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Tyronn Lue, who played briefly under Jackson as a Laker and has interviewed for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ coaching vacancy, has also been mentioned repeatedly as a name on Jackson’s radar.
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Denver isn’t going to allow Brian Shaw to come to New York in case Phil Jackson can’t land Derek Fisher, even if the Knicks offer compensation. “We didn’t hire Brian for a one-year position with our team,’’ the Nuggets’ team president, Josh Kroenke, told me. “We see Brian being with us for years to come.’’ If Fisher turns Jackson down, it’ll be on to Kurt Rambis, another member of the Zen Master’s small circle of basketball friends.
So who do the Lakers hire to replace D’Antoni, who was doomed this season by a plague of injuries? We continue to hear that ex-Lakers Byron Scott and Kurt Rambis are viable candidates. Derek Fisher, also a former Laker, but might not be so viable with no experience. But that didn’t stop the Lakers from floating out his name as a candidate. Jeff Van Gundy is in the running. Stan Van Gundy has also been mentioned. He was recently contacted by the Pistons about their vacancy, but the talks didn’t get anywhere when he asked about getting power over personnel decisions. The Lakers decided to flood the grapevine, so if there had been a third Van Gundy brother, he probably would have been listed, too.