April 20, 2018 | 10:12 am EDT Update
Jerry Stackhouse, featured in this space last year, has coached the Toronto Raptors’ G-League team to consecutive finals appearances, winning the title last season. A fierce competitor, Stackhouse puts a premium on game prep, and has become quite the film maven. Many insiders regard Stackhouse as the most likely candidate in the field this year to get a first-time job.
According to a source, Dolan last season sent an email to Hornacek saying he was disappointed in him for not buying fully into the triangle offense. This took place sometime around the All Star break. So we know that as recently as last season Dolan, who loves to tell you he’s not involved, was actually pushing Phil Jackson’s offense down Hornacek’s throat in a not-so-subtle way.
David Lee will leave for the French Open in 10 days. He hopes before heading to Paris with fiancée Caroline Wozniacki that Mark Jackson is named the Knicks head coach. The ex-Knicks/ex-Warriors power forward played for Jackson in Golden State for all three of Jackson’s seasons. “He has a very smart perspective looking at the game,’’ Lee told The Post in a phone interview. “Especially dealing with what you want in New York, you need somebody to understand the landscape. “Coaching and playing in New York is different than any city. You see it in baseball — superstars play for the Yankees either thrive or shy away from the situation. Mark understands the difference in New York basketball. He’s from there. He understands the politics, the fans, things involved unique to the Knicks. That’s an advantage he has.’’
Work ethic, preparation and a willingness to perform the humdrum tasks of the job are vital, but any head coach who can’t get out of the training facility by 6:30 p.m. on a non-game day may be putting on airs. Welcome to the era of work-life balance, where “not having a life outside basketball” is more a detriment than a curse, a demonstration that a coach might lack a native curiosity of the greater world that can actually help him do his job, relate to his players and colleagues and generally be a pleasant person to be around. The season is far too long and concentrated to approach the job otherwise in a league where “playing with joy” is the new imperative.
Derek Bodner: Embiid recently posted an instagram story with photos of the Heat (round 1), Celtics (potential round 2 matchup), Cavs (potential ECF) and Warriors (finals). His response? “I don’t know. It was, just, the only pictures I had in my phone.” He struggled to keep a straight face.