The coaching search has officially begun for many different teams around the NBA with the playoffs now underway. The New York Knicks are among the teams weighing their options on the coaching front with a few candidates already rumored to be in the team’s crosshairs.
One of the more intriguing candidates for the Knicks may be one of Phil Jackson’s former players in Luke Walton. The 36-year-old is currently an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors under another Jackson prodigy, Steve Kerr. Although Walton hasn’t made his intentions known, the former Los Angeles Lakers forward could make the jump to head coach this summer if given the right opportunity with another team like the Knicks.
According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, the Knicks have already talked to Walton about the coaching job in New York:
New York Knicks president Phil Jackson recently spoke to Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton about the club’s coaching vacancy, league sources confirmed.
With Byron Scott’s fate with the Lakers still up in the air, the team could show interest in Walton this summer if Scott is let go. At this point, all indications point to Scott being retained and Walton staying with the Warriors, but that could change in the coming months.
As for the Knicks, Jackson took to Twitter on Monday to address the rumors floating about the team’s coaching search:
Press accounts of coaching actions are untrue. Nobody has been asked nobody said no.
— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) April 18, 2016
Along with Walton, the Knicks have been linked to David Blatt, Mark Jackson, and current interim head coach Kurt Rambis. New York could ultimately end up keeping Rambis on long-term, but it appears Jackson is doing his due diligence exploring all options before making a final decision.
The Lakers, however, have yet to make a decision on whether they’ll keep Scott. Walton will likely be on a short list of candidates for Los Angeles if they end up having a coaching vacancy over the summer.