The New York Knicks are reportedly interested in signing former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt to replace interim coach Kurt Rambis ahead of next season.
While Rambis has the reported backing of president Phil Jackson to continue as full-time coach, fresh reports claim that New York will revamp the coaching staff. “Sources told ESPN.com on Monday that former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt is among the names who interest the Knicks,” reads a report from Chris Broussard and Ian Begley.
Knicks president high on David Blatt?
A day earlier, Begley reported that Phil Jackson has shortlisted Blatt due to the European coach’s history with Steve Mills. “Jackson views Blatt favorably, according to sources. It’s also worth noting that Blatt played basketball with Knicks GM Steve Mills at Princeton.”
Back in January, Blatt was abruptly fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers despite leading the team to a 30-11 record and the first seed in the East. Last season, Blatt became one of the few coaches in history to make the NBA finals in his rookie season. In fact, no other coach in history had been dismissed midway through a season with a higher winning percentage than Blatt’s .732.
At the time of Blatt’s firing, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the Israeli preferred to remain in the NBA as opposed to returning to the European circuit, where he enjoyed enormous success at both the club and international level.
Triangle offense to go?
The Knicks have been adamant about sticking with the triangle offense, the primary reason for Jackson hiring Derek Fisher and Rambis as coaches since taking over the franchise prior to last season. However, Blatt prefers running a modified version of the Princeton offense.
“If Blatt were to get serious consideration for the Knicks position, it would indicate Jackson is not restricting himself to candidates who run his preferred triangle offense. Other available coaches with previous NBA experience include Brian Shaw, Tom Thibodeau, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson — the latter three all possessing Knicks ties,” according to the ESPN report.
Who will coach the Knicks next season? Will it be Blatt or someone else?