NBA Rumors: New York Knicks Eyeing Phil Jackson Replacement

NBA rumors are swirling around Phil Jackson. Though he has stated that he wants to stick around to rebuild the New York Knicks, team owner James Dolan might have other plans. According to FanSided, he already has someone in mind as a replacement if Jackson and the Knicks decide to part ways after this season. That possibility has increased as of late because Phil seems committed to making Kurt Rambis the permanent head coach, which does not sit well with some in the organization, the fan base and the media.

Out of all the names being mentioned as a possible replacement for Derek Fisher, there are a lot of big names that are much sexier options than Kurt Rambis. Many feel that fans and advertisers might have more faith in the rebuilding process if there was someone with more hype coming in to save the franchise. Someone like Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton would make fans excited about the future of the New York Knicks.

New York Knicks coach Kurt Rambis
Kurt Rambis [Photo by Elsa/Getty Images]

Phil Jackson seems determined on having a Triangle Offense disciple as the New York Knicks head coach. As a player in the NBA, very few guys understand the offense created by the legendary Tex Winter better than Luke Walton. He and Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who also played for Jackson, use elements of the offense, but they are not going full on board with it.

Even if the New York Knicks don’t oust Phil Jackson to prevent him from appointing Kurt Rambis on a permanent basis, there’s a chance that he might leave anyways. There’s been a season long speculation that Jackson wants to head back to the west coast and rejoin the Los Angeles Lakers. Executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss has given himself a finite time to turn around the franchise, so if he keeps his word, then Phil can team up with his girlfriend, Jeanie Buss, to resurrect the team.

James Dolan [Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images]

If Phil Jackson isn’t with the New York Knicks next season, then James Dolan will reportedly target Masai Ujiri to take over the team. He’s currently the general manager of the Toronto Raptors. He’s done a tremendous job, as the team is currently sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference, right behind LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

James Dolan has dealt with Masai Ujiri firsthand, and he knows how good he is as an executive. Ujiri got a boatload of assets for the Denver Nuggets when he sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. Masai also received quite a bit from the Knicks whenever he somehow convinced Dolan to take on Andrea Bargnani. Dolan is likely hoping Ujiri can use his charms to convince other NBA teams to give up additional assets to the Knicks.

Masai Ujiri [Gallo Images/Getty Images]

Since they’re the New York Knicks, there are other options available because they’re always intriguing to those in the NBA. Tom Thibodeau is still available, and he’s said he would love to be the Knicks’ head coach. Thibodeau was once a beloved assistant coach under Jeff Van Gundy. Speaking of Van Gundy, there are rumors that he would love to coach in the National Basketball Association again, but that might require the Knicks to give him front office power.

With Phil Jackson, you never really know what he is going to do. He could leave the Knicks this summer, or he could surprise everyone by finishing out of his contract. The franchise itself is pretty unpredictable as well. They’ve been known to make a couple of headlines here and there. Replacing Jackson with Masai Ujiri would capture quite a bit of attention.

[Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images]