Los Angeles Lakers owner Jim Buss and New York Knicks president Phil Jackson are going to war once again. Last time, it was because Buss refused to give Jackson his old job as the Lakers head coach. This time, it’s over Golden State Warriors assistant head coach Luke Walton, as both teams are hoping that he will take over their franchise after the season, according to Fox Sports.
Earlier today, Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks made the tough decision to fire Derek Fisher as their head coach. It’s a tough decision because that means that the team will have to eat the remainder of his multiple year contract while also paying millions of dollars to their next head coach. Fortunately for the Knicks, they are the one of the most valuable franchises in the NBA and can afford such a scenario.
The firing of Derek Fisher had to take place because the New York Knicks lost quite a number of games since the season started. They have dropped down to a 23-31 record after flirting with.500 a couple of times throughout the season. Phil Jackson was afraid the Knicks fan base was turning their backs on the team, so he had no choice but to drop the hammer on Fisher, the head coach he had personally hand-picked for the job.
For the time being, Kurt Rambis will be the interim head coach for the New York Knicks. He was on the Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff when Phil Jackson was in charge. Rambis also has a strong understanding of the Triangle Offense, the scheme that the Knicks are struggling to properly execute. Kurt should be able to get New York through the rest of the NBA season, but Jackson will be looking elsewhere for a permanent replacement.
Brian Shaw is one of the candidates who will surely get a sit down interview with Phil Jackson. He was the former head coach of the Denver Nuggets and has been an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers. Shaw was once being groomed by Jackson on the Lakers staff to become a future head coach. As much as Jackson likes Shaw, the belief is that the former Lakers guard is the secondary choice.
Phil Jackson apparently has his heart set on Luke Walton to become the next New York Knicks head coach. The former Los Angeles Lakers forward recently took over as interim head coach for Steve Kerr, who was sidelined by hip surgery. Walton managed to the lead the NBA Champions to a 39-4 record, which made him one of the most highly-coveted future head coaches in the league.
Luke Walton played seven seasons in the NBA under Phil Jackson, and he knows the Triangle Offense just as well as anyone in the league right now. Jackson has known that Walton is extremely smart and could become a great head coach some day. Jackson is still adamant about the New York Knicks running the scheme that he has won multiple NBA Championships with, so that not only makes Walton a perfect candidate but one of the few qualified persons for the job.
Hiring Luke Walton won’t be an easy task for Phil Jackson, though. The Los Angeles Lakers are said to be quite interested in Walton, especially as they are being forced to witness Byron Scott having issues with rookie guard D’Angelo Russell and second year forward Julius Randle, two players who are supposed to be the building block of the future. Scott could be terminated as soon as Kobe Bryant decides to walk away from the NBA.
The battle between the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers might be more entertaining off court than on it.
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