Kurt Rambis, the interim coach of the New York Knicks, is most likely to take charge of the team as a full-time coach next season. Despite rampant criticism over his potential appointment, Rambis wants the city of New York and its passionate basketball fans to give him an opportunity.
Word on the street is that Rambis is getting the job because of his close ties with Jackson. Remember, Jackson also handpicked Derek Fisher as the previous coach before firing him midway through the season. Though Jackson coached Fisher during his days as Lakers coach, he is much closer to Rambis and wants to stick with his gut, according to several reports.
Wants to carve identity…
Rambis realizes he will always be perceived as Phil Jackson’s “guy” or “his puppet” but doesn’t want to let the criticism affect his job.
“I grew up playing basketball a certain way and it’s very consistent with what Phil believes and thinks. So I don’t consider myself a puppet of his. It’s just a mindset of how we think the game should be played,” Rambis said Wednesday when quipped about Frank Isola’ report that he’s the frontrunner to land the Knicks head coaching job.
“It would be fantastic (to coach the Knicks). I want to be a head coach in this league. This is a great franchise, it’s a terrific city, fanbase. It would be a thrill beyond thrills in order to take this situation from where it was when we all first came here and turn it into a situation where it’s extremely promising and we have a chance to get in the playoffs and do well in the playoffs. And get this city and this organization a potential championship. That’s a goal and that would be a tremendous thrill,” said the former Showtime Laker, who won several championships with the Purple & Gold in the 1989s.
Knicks star Carmelo Anthony unhappy?
Meanwhile, Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony is reportedly dismayed with Jackson’s choice to stick with Rambis. “I would love to have some kind of input when it comes to that (the next coach) You have to. I think you have to have some kind of input or dialogue, whatever you want to use. At this point it needs to be some type of connection and communication, especially if we want to right this ship.’’
Though he’s had plenty of stints as assistant coach, Rambis’ only real head coaching assignment was with Minnesota Timberwolves between 2009 and 2011. During that stretch, he registered a win/loss record of 32-132. Despite such an appalling success rate, Jackson believes Rambis is the man for the job.
Will the Knicks regret the decision to persist with an unproven coach like Rambis?