It's been an underwhelming season for the New York Knicks. They were a .500 team looking good for the playoffs only a few short months ago, however, after nine losses in 10 games prior to Derek Fisher's dismissal on February 8, their hopes of a postseason spot have quickly diminished to the near impossible.
Of course, this term is a marked improvement from the dark days of the franchise worst 17-65 record they suffered last year. The addition of rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis has played it's part in the mild progress, but Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com is reporting that president Phil Jackson may take the team's fortunes into his own esteemed hands next season.
Franchise star Carmelo Anthony has already insisted the Knicks need to make moves in free agency this summer, but Jackson - one of the most decorated coaches in NBA history - is said to be considering a return to the bench to coach the side's home games at Madison Square Garden, with Kurt Rambis assuming control for the road.
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Shelburne reports: "There's even talk Jackson could offer to coach home games next season, with Rambis coaching the road games. It's an offer the late Lakers owner Jerry Buss once flatly rejected, but it could be an interesting compromise to hiring Rambis as the head coach next season."
Jackson was instrumental in the hiring of his former Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher back in June 2014. The former Lakers and Chicago Bulls coach is the godfather of the fabled 'Triangle Offence' that yielded eleven NBA titles during his tenure on the pine.
That includes six in a row between the historic 1995-96 season and 2001-02. Players like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal were all vital components to his championship outfits and maybe Jackson believes he can bring out the best in nine-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony and the burgeoning Porzingis.
Fisher's original appointment was designed to convey Jackson's vision and his tried and trusted offensive formula.
Shelburne also noted that Rambis is held in a similar regard and that the 70-year-old Jackson still believes in his tried and trusted methods, even in light of the Warriors' continued success.
Shelburne said Jackson installed his "trusted longtime lead associate head coach Kurt Rambis to take the helm in the interim in the hopes his message would get through."
It's becoming apparent that Jackson believes no one can implement his methods better than himself, which, many Knicks fans might feel was the case all along.
Shelburne mentions in the same report that it remains possible that Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton could be a viable option to permanently replace Fisher. Whether he could do so under Jackson's strict offensive guidelines given his Warriors experience, is up for debate.
The ESPN reporter goes on to suggest that Walton could also head to the Lakers if Byron Scott isn't retained next season. Either way, with his contract expiring at the end of the 2016-17 campaign, Jackson knows that time is running out to turn this ailing franchise around.