Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mark Jackson thinks he has right personality for Knicks job: Report

Contrary to earlier rumors, Mark Jackson called the Knicks' vacant head-coaching position “an incredible job’’ and seemed to suggest he would have legitimate interest in the gig despite word on the street.

A member of Jackson's inner circle said Jackson may be leery of a situation in which the team president is very hands-on with the coach —  ala Phil Jackson. 

When Phil Jackson does hire his new coach, he will be surely be pulling the strings from behind the scenes — something Mark Jackson would never stand for. Which leaves Derek Fisher as Phil Jackson's familiar and logical top choice plus a better fit in the new Knicks president's system.

But don't count out the former-Warriors head coach.

Mark Jackson, who is doing the NBA Finals for ABC, said in a conference call, it takes "a special personality" to coach the Knicks and everyone’s "not made for New York City."

It appeared Jackson was questioning whether Fisher or Steve Kerr, both from other cities, had those special ingredients.

"Obviously you hear the talk even if it’s the New York Post reporting my inner circle made a statement and I have no clue because my wife and kids haven’t spoken to The Post. To counter that, it’s an incredible job. It’s an incredible opportunity and I’m sure that Phil Jackson will do an outstanding job of finding the right coach to get that organization and that team headed back in the right situation."

Fisher, a product of Little Rock, Ark., was asked on Sunday whether he liked New York City. He said his first visit as a Lakers rookie he "locked myself in the hotel room" because he was fearful. Fisher added the city "kind of grew on me."

Mark Jackson, from his game to his accent, is as New York as they come.

"As a kid that grew up in New York City, a fan of the Knicks, everybody’s not made for New York City," said the Brooklyn native, ex-St. John’s and Knicks star. "That’s whether you’re management, whether you’re playing, whether you’re coaching.

"To be quite honest, everybody is not built for it. It’s a different animal. It takes a special personality and a person understanding the things that come into play. I’m biased, but I thought Jeff [Van Gundy] did an incredible job juggling all of them."

Phil Jackson hasn’t spoken directly to Mark Jackson, but it’s believed general manager Steve Mills and assistant GM Allan Houston, who are close to Mark Jackson, have been in contact.

"I do look forward to coaching one day if it presents himself again," said Jackson, who was fired by Golden State last month. "Right now I’m having a blast with my crew."

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