Phil Jackson.

Five potential coaches for the New York Knicks next season

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Now that the dust has settled on Derek Fisher's departure as head coach of the New York Knicks, attentions are beginning to turn to who his replacement will be.

It's been just over a month since Fisher's two-year stay in the Big Apple came to a close. It was a bold move from president Phil Jackson to put his former trusted Laker in such a position in the first place given the 41-year-old had no previous coaching experience.

Fisher would compile a record of 40-96 during his tenure making for a win percentage of .294, which included nine defeats in his final 10 games in charge.

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One might argue that Fisher had to abide by Jackson's wishes during his time at Madison Square Garden. After all, Jackson is an 11-time NBA Champion as a coach and master of the fabled 'triangle offence', which he insisted Fisher implement with the Knicks.

Sure, Fisher would have known the strategy well having operated within it under Jackson with the Lakers. But, that doesn't necessarily mean the Knicks had the right pieces to fit that system.

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According to Forbes, the Knicks are the eighth most lucrative sports franchise in the world and only second in the NBA to the Los Angeles Lakers. For an outfit of their stature, boasting a talent like Carmelo Anthony, Fisher's record was unacceptable.

Having won only three out of the 11 subsequent games following Fisher's dismissal, it's clear interim coach Kurt Rambis has failed to suitably steady the ship.

Here are five possible figures who could plausibly take the reigns of this faltering franchise and look to restore them back to their Finals challenging best.

Tom Thibodeau

The current assistant to Mike Krzyzewski with Team USA did some remarkable things with the Chicago Bulls during his five years there.

Team USA Basketball Showcase

Before the 58-year-old arrived in Chicago, the Bulls had done precious little since the Michael Jordan inspired title-winning side of 1997-98. In the preceding 12 years, the Bulls only made the playoffs five times whilst scoring home advantage once. They were eliminated in the first round in all but one of those postseasons and the glory days of the 90's seemed long in the rearview mirror.

Thibodeau changed all that. The Bulls won back-to-back Eastern Conference titles under his guidance and Derrick Rose won the MVP award in only his third professional season.

The 2011 coach of the year has previous with the Knicks after assisting Jeff Van Gundy and then Don Chaney from 1996-2004. What probably cost Thibodeau was the fact the Bulls only reached the Conference Finals once during his tenure, but he's rumoured to be on the job hunt and his ability to bring the best out of players may interest owner James Dolan whilst Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis are on his books.

David Blatt

The former Cleveland Cavaliers coach was fired back on January 22, and he'll no doubt feel as if he has a lot to prove. An injury-plagued Cavs lost to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals last year in his first season as an NBA coach.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Golden State Warriors

It could be argued that in pure star value, the Cavaliers had the best roster with LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. And when the latter two were struck down, a superhuman effort from King James appeared to be the antidote, rather than any kind of mastermind from Blatt.

Still, the Massachusetts-native left Cleveland sitting pretty at the top of the Eastern Conference with a record of 30-11. Cavs general manager David Griffin said: "a lack of fit with our personnel and our vision," were the causes of Blatt's demise.

Interpret that how you will, but if he has personnel issues, then that indicates he may have trouble conforming to Jackson's style demands.

Scott Brooks

Here's another coach that joined the unemployment line not so long ago. Brooks played for the Knicks during the 1996-97 season but is more recently remembered and revered for bringing the Oklahoma City Thunder back to prominence.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors

In the 90's, the Seattle Supersonics were a formidable foe. However, prior to Brooks arrival, the now-Thunder had been meandering in the West. Brooks turned Kevin Durant into a superstar and built one of the most dangerous duos in the league with the addition of Russell Westbrook.

Durant would win MVP under his tutelage and they made it to the NBA finals in 2011-12 before falling to the Miami Heat in five games. Brooks was rather harshly given his marching orders after missing two of his major stars - Durant and Westbrook - for large parts, if not the majority, of the 2014-15 campaign.

Brooks is well known for coaching solid defence and has a proven history of developing young players into stars - James Harden another example. One has to wonder if he took the job, would KD fancy a reunion in New York this summer...

Kurt Rambis

I'll keep this one short and sweet.

Portland Trail Blazers v New York Knicks

The current interim manager is a 'Phil Jackson guy'. Meaning, the president can implement the triangle offence and whatever else he pleases and Rambis, in all likelihood, will happily serve as the face of that.

This choice is probably the closest one to Jackson actually resuming a career on the pine.

Luke Walton

There's a lot of things going for Luke Walton at present. As an assistant to Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors, he has played his part in creating one of the greatest sides in NBA history.

He's not just a background character, either. In Kerr's injured absence, Walton oversaw the best start to a season in NBA history and when the head coach reassumed his position on January 20, Walton departed with a record of 37-4.

Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns

Of course, he was handling a great side, but it would be naive to discredit his influence on a record-setting period. Walton will be hot property when he decides to move into the number one spot and is likely to be the most sought-after coach in the league.

It's also interesting that Walton spent several years as a Laker under Jackson, and is therefore well acquainted with the - I'm going to say it again - triangle offence. That could either appeal to Jackson, or if he's really feeling progressive, he might welcome Walton's vast handle on stretching the floor and perimeter shooting that seems to be working just fine for the Warriors.

I guess the question is, how much is the next appointment in New York going to be about what Phil Jackson wants?

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony

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