Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Knicks Head Coach – Plan B

Before the New York Knicks do anything to prepare for this year, they have a vacancy to fill: Head Coach. It makes sense to eye a top down approach to team building, as different coaches excel with different assets. While the Knicks haven’t had much success with the coaching position over the last few years, they’ve been especially pitiful under president Phil Jackson. In his short tenure, New York has been managed by perhaps two of the worst coaches in franchise history: Derek Fisher and Kurt Rambis. Both players were selected by Jackson, albeit the latter was just an interim coach.

With Indiana foolishly letting go of Frank Vogel, the Knicks would be dumb to not make a strong play for the former Pacer. Vogel is a strong defensive coach, which would fit both the franchise and their president. Both of New York’s most successful eras were founded on defense, and for all the talk of the triangle coach Phil Jackson also kept things tight on that end of the floor as well.

But being a Knicks’ fan, you probably know Vogel to New York isn’t going to happen. The basketball gods will prevent Vogel from coming anywhere near the MSG home bench. For a few years/decades the Knicks have not been allowed “to acquire the best.” We did not get LeBron. We did not get Thibodeau. We did not draft Curry. We got Phil Jackson, the player and the GM, but not the coach.

What the Knicks can do is develop from scratch. It’s not an often occurrence, but it seems to be the Knicky-way. We get Jeremy Lin, John Starks, Mozgov, Jeff Van Gundy, Oakley, and Mase. (We don’t always keep those gems, but that’s another story.) New York is the NBA city of molding dirt into pottery.

So when Vogel signs with another team, I have Plan B for the Knicks.

Plan B is a professional that never played in the NBA. This player left college as the all time leading scorer in their conference. “B” played professionally, but never in the NBA. Despite that, Plan B had a long (16 seasons) and strong career. A 6 time All Star, First and Second Team honors, stints overseas, and even a bronze Olympic medal.

There are hints of being a well rounded and focused individual, receiving a Sportsmanship Award one year and a career free throw percentage of 89.7%. You don’t get just shy of 90% on your free throws without dedication to the game, attention to detail, and a desire to succeed. All traits that are needed as an NBA head coach. A torn ACL derailed B’s career, so they ventured into coaching. An NBA assistant and with only summer league experience as a head coach, B has earned high praise from one of the best coaches in the league.

When Vogel goes elsewhere, New York will still be without a coach. Jackson might stick with Kurt Rambis. He might reach out to grab Byron Scott, Brian Shaw, or David Blatt. I don’t see an upside to any of these coaches other than Blatt. And even he has a weird taint to him given his time in Cleveland.

Before the Knicks settle for mediocre, I think they should take a look into someone that has the potential to be a good coach. I think they should give Becky Hammon a call.

74 comments on “Knicks Head Coach – Plan B

  1. richmond

    Shaw works best at being the voice behind the man, so hire him as an assistant. Ditto Rambis, perhaps with Vogel or Blatt as head coach.

  2. wetbandit

    Either Isola reads this site, or the whole Nero thing on the Daily News’ atrocious cover is a huge coincidence. What a joke that paper is.

  3. Brian Cronin

    By all accounts, she’s been quite good in San Antonio, so I think she will eventually get a gig, but not before Messina (unless Messina signed on to specifically be Pop’s successor – Pop’s not a young man, after all). And I think Borrego also probably gets a gig before her (he never had a shot at keeping the Orlando job, but I don’t think he embarrassed himself as the interim coach there). But I think she will eventually get a shot. It won’t be in New York, but I think she will get a shot. And she should.

  4. d-mar

    Either Isola reads this site, or the whole Nero thing on the Daily News’ atrocious cover is a huge coincidence. What a joke that paper is.

    The only thing worse than reading Isola’s garbage is listening to him on NBA Radio (I know, I know, change the channel) The other day he went on for like an hour trashing the Knicks while Scalabrine tried (in vain) to temper the discussion a little.

  5. Alecto

    I’m all for Becky Hammon as the next Knicks coach–she’s by all accounts excellent, and there’s no better candidate to break the gender barrier than her. It would be both a smart hire and an historic moment, and I would be exceedingly proud to be a Knicks fan were we to do it.

    Unfortunately it’ll probably be Kurt Rambis

  6. Brian Cronin

    After GoNyGoNyGo made a comment about Jackson’s odd road trip being like Nero fiddling while Rome burned down, the Daily News’ back page today was the following:

    nero

  7. chrisk06811

    If phil wants a winner who respects the triangle……why not Kobe?

    I’m worried you might not think I was kidding, so plan B:
    If phil wants a winner who respects the triangle…….why not Adam Morrison?

    actually, what the hell is bill cartwright doing these days?

  8. ptmilo

    @KristinFerrara_ Phil’s biggest priority is proving a major point about the game he loves. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    That was tweeted today by Roland Lazenby, an old friend of Phil and Tex Winter who wrote a book about Phil, among others. Although what some random friend says is hardly dispositive about your mindset, it fits the facts, and the facts are pretty damning.

  9. rama

    Becky Hammon is the kind of move Phil might actually make. I’m not sure it’s a good idea – there is a lot to learn about this job you can’t learn just from playing or from being an assistant for a year – but it’s better than Rambis, and yeah, I’d feel pretty good about the Knicks because of it.

    Blatt or Vogel, though. Please!

  10. Brian Cronin

    Oh, okay, so this was a typo then?

    I mean, if Phil doesn’t pick Rambis, I’ll probably just stop following the team.

    I was hoping it was, but, well, I didn’t want to presume. ;)

  11. GoNyGoNYGo

    I gotta say, I was thinking Becky Hammon too. She’s smart and if Pop appreciates her, there’s gotta be something to it.

  12. lavor postell

    Lazenby isn’t a friend of Phil’s. He even said on a podcast last week he doesn’t talk to Phil and he’s just speculating as to his intentions.

    He’s obviously had more of a chance to talk to Phil than most everybody, but it’s still just speculation.

    It’s all just throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks from everybody at this point. We’ll know when it’s announced.

  13. JK47

    I really hope those musicians in Dolan’s band are charging like five times their normal rate.

  14. Brian Cronin

    I’d say it is almost a certainty that they’re getting very well compensated. Dolan is a lot of things, but he isn’t cheap.

  15. Donnie Walsh

    Speaking of women and MSG: this week New York Liberty president Isiah Thomas acquired 2-time all star Shoni Schimmel from the Denver Dream in exchange for a 2017 2nd-round draft pick. I have no idea who the Denver GM is, but the fact that s/he wasn’t able to get a 1st rounder out of Isiah is head-shaking.

  16. Mike Kurylo Post author

    I really hope those musicians in Dolan’s band are charging like five times their normal rate.

    Musicians are trained from an early age that they may have to make a deal with the devil in return for mastering their art.

  17. alsep73

    Per Berman:

    The Knicks have made contact with the agent for Frank Vogel, but have not yet requested an interview, according to a source close to the former Pacers coach.

    According to the source, Knicks GM Steve Mills has done his due diligence in contacting Vogel’s reps. He expressed that Phil Jackson has not made a decision on how to proceed. The key to the exploratory phone call was finding out whether Vogel would have interest in the job, and it seems he does.

    “I think the Knicks wanted to see where Frank’s head is at,” the source said.

    Jackson is on a road trip to his Montana lake house. A source told The Post he wants to get some time away to think things over.

  18. alsep73

    But still kind of half-assed. I wonder how much Phil is actually communicating with Mills and everyone else right now. Is he on a vision quest with his phone turned off?

  19. Brian Cronin

    But still kind of half-assed. I wonder how much Phil is actually communicating with Mills and everyone else right now. Is he on a vision quest with his phone turned off?

    Oh yeah, it’s super half-assed. But better than nothing! There’s at least better hope for us than if we heard that they weren’t even contacting him!

  20. lavor postell

    How is it half assed? Have your GM reach out to Vogel’s agent and see if he’s interested in the position a day after he gets let go in Indiana. What exactly do you think he should be doing right now?

    Related, but Isola’s meltdown on Twitter right now is hilarious.

  21. KnickfaninNJ

    I don’t recall the last time I saw a WNBA game and I certainly didn’t watch this girl play, but is good to see that Thomas is still trading picks for what appears to be overrated players.

    She’s 24, shoots 36% from downtown and gets 6 assists per 36 minutes but has a lot of turnovers. Even ignoring the fact that she’s already a two time all star at that age, she seems cheap for measly second rounder.

  22. thenamestsam

    Yeah it seems harsh to call it half-assed. It is funny though to imagine Mills trying to explain to Vogel that the only guy with the actual authority to interview candidates is actually in Sioux City eating Thai food for the moment.

    The lack of urgency in this Knicks coaching search continues to be interesting. As far as we know they still haven’t interviewed a single candidate right? I mean in theory Blatt, Vogel, etc. could accept other jobs at any time.

  23. lavor postell

    They interviewed Blatt in person which was reported by Woj.

    They more or less had an informal interview via phone with Walton to gauge his interest which was reported by basically everybody.

    Now they’ve reached out to Vogel.

    The only candidate they didn’t reach out to as far as we know was Thibs, who almost certainly wanted personnel control, something which was reported by Windhorst on a podcast after Thibs took the Minnesota job. It’s interesting to note another FO that was never going to give him personnel control in the Lakers also passed on interviewing him at all.

  24. basically ruruland but not

    I’ll tell you what I know about Becky Hammon’s NBA coaching: virtually nothing.

    Popovich is the only coach I trust, so I assume she’s good. Otherwise, there’s almost no evidence that she’s good or not good.

    Of course, keeping with my general “it’s better to roll the dice than sign a known shit player” strategy, I certainly would support hiring her, whom I know nothing about, over Kurt Rambis, whom we know to be a terrible NBA coach.

  25. fmikieo

    What’s the rush?
    Neither Vogel nor Blatt are going anywhere anytime soon. And there are plenty of other qualified folks anyhow. PJax knows this and is being very deliberate. I’m okay with that.

    The team doesn’t need a coach until Orlando Summer League anyway.

    Besides, rushing makes it easier to hire the wrong guy.

  26. the don nelson era

    Getting the club president involved in the first phone call to Vogel’s agent would be premature. I mean, the Knicks are supposed to fall all over themselves in their first conversation with him? He’s not a “must have” coach. Sure, it’d be nice, but why be desperate? What if he says no? When it goes public, the Knicks would look like shit. Not to mention, you probably alienate Blatt with that approach.

    I know the catastrophic outcome has occurred regularly for the Knicks, but it hasn’t happened under Jackson (so far). It’s too soon to cue the hysterics.

  27. Donnie Walsh

    She’s 24, shoots 36% from downtown and gets 6 assists per 36 minutes but has a lot of turnovers. Even ignoring the fact that she’s already a two time all star at that age, she seems cheap for measly second rounder.

    She showed up out of shape last season and under-performed for the Dream, piquing Isiah’s interest. “Ever since Mr Dolan entrusted me to recreate the 2007 Knicks with an all-female cast, I’ve been looking for my Jerome James,” Thomas said at the press conference to introduce Schimmel.

  28. reub

    Oh, the anti-Phil sentiment in here can be such a downer! He’s a basketball genius so let’s be glad we have him.

  29. the don nelson era

    I gotta say, reub, I’m having trouble reconciling the phonetics of your name and the Pollyanna-ish optimism. But keep on keepin on!

  30. KnickfaninNJ

    I suspected there was a reason she was cheap. But it’s unfair to compare her to Jerome James. She’s more accomplished than he was. But it’s still clearly a cheap risk he’s taking in the hope she gets good again.

  31. DRed

    Thibs was a no go from the start. Dolan thinks he’s a snitch, and he fought in Chicago with Paxson, who is a former player and assistant coach for Phil. I think the second reason is actually a legit reason not to hire him since we’re keeping Phil. Thibs/JVG and Phil/Paxson have beef going way back, from the big chief triangle shit to JVG fucking ethering Paxson on air last year.

    “He was so mad at me I thought I had traded LaMarcus Aldridge for Tyrus Thomas and not him”. JVG 4eva

  32. BigBlueAL

    Shump’s putback dunk in Game 2 vs Indiana was probably the most exciting highlight of his Knicks career.

  33. DRed

    From what I remember he never dunked or converted a layup for the remainder of his Knicks career.

  34. d-mar

    From what I remember he never dunked or converted a layup for the remainder of his Knicks career.

    But he did look good not doing those things

  35. reub

    That’s better. When you go after former players and coaches/GMs this place seems much happier. Please don’t stop.

  36. ClashFan

    I’m also enjoying reub’s optimism, but I wonder if it is a facade just to confound the several gloom and doomers here. Remember the game threads not so long ago? Reub was often pretty negative, esp. about Fisher’s rotations. I remember a fun rant about not taking out any starters until they are all sweating profusely!

    I read somewhere that Vogel wanted a day to decompress, and Phil is also reportedly driving his brother (you know, family) to his home. So, what’s the rush? Give Vogel some space. Apparently they did contact his agent to express interest.

    Also, Phil may be suffering from a bit of “once bitten, twice shy” in that he got jilted last year by his first choice sort of at the last minute. OTOH, Blatt appears to be just sitting at home waiting for someone to call. Seems like he’d jump at the Knicks if offered, but really none of us has a clue…

  37. Mike Kurylo Post author

    If I paid someone who supposedly was an expert at mind games $12M a year, you’d be sure I’d want him to personally negotiate and persuade getting one of the main cogs of my business. Not hide away in his vacation cabin home while that person slipped away to the competition.

  38. reub

    I admit to getting a little worked up during some of those games and wanting to see a few beads of sweat on the players before resting them when they were going well. But that was really my alter ego speaking. And it was a sentiment emanating from my deep feeling that our team was good if only reality could just get out of the damn way!

  39. DRed

    Shumpert, JR, Mozgov, Frye-the Cavs could run out a Knicks + LBJ team. It’s kinda like we’re in the playoffs.

  40. ptmilo

    Ex Knick Cavs 9-11 for three plus one fatal shumpdunk. Mostly offset by 2 min from TH2 for Atlanta.

  41. DRed

    If I paid someone who supposedly was an expert at mind games $12M a year, you’d be sure I’d want him to personally negotiate and persuade getting one of the main cogs of my business. Not hide away in his vacation cabin home while that person slipped away to the competition.

    If you draw lines connecting Flathead lake, Indianapolis & MSG, what do you get? Triangle.

  42. DRed

    You mean let their older vets walk? Probably, unless KD is walking through that door. (he’s not)

  43. wetbandit

    The pitchforks are real classy. Phil’s spoken to Blatt, and Vogel’s agent has been reached out to. Take a chill pill, dudes.

  44. massive

    The Vogel information is really interesting. Phil could really hire this guy; he has all the right connections I think. He worked as a scout for Phil in LA, he had Brian Shaw on his coaching staff, and he would have the two good-great defensive bigs to build his elite defense around. I’d say RoLo and KP could be a better defensive duo than Hibbert and West were, and I think Vogel would agree with that.

    ATL is done, though. They should trade us Teague and Korver for Lopez after we sign Whiteside this summer.

  45. DRed

    I want to trade Rolo to Philly for Nerlens and then sign Boban. League going small and we’ll be like nah

    Honestly, I should be GM.

  46. lavor postell

    If I paid someone who supposedly was an expert at mind games $12M a year, you’d be sure I’d want him to personally negotiate and persuade getting one of the main cogs of my business. Not hide away in his vacation cabin home while that person slipped away to the competition.

    It’s a good thing none of this is accurate

  47. yellowboy90

    I want to trade Rolo to Philly for Nerlens and then sign Boban.

    What kind of GM is Bryan Colangelo? How about WCS for Lopez? I know Divac is terrible he could use a good locker room vet/enforcer for Cousins.

  48. Brian Cronin

    He gave Bargs the awful contract that the Knicks traded a first round pick for.

  49. lavor postell

    He also gave up peanuts for Lowry. Also helped assemble those MDA Suns teams.

    One move doesn’t define a guy’s entire body of work.

  50. ptmilo

    I can see Duncan staying on the Spurs roster until his mid 70s exclusively as the designated crunch time inbounder

  51. max fisher-cohen

    @lavor postell

    He also gave up peanuts for Lowry.

    The pick he gave up for Lowry was unprotected and became the cornerstone of Houston’s trade for James Harden. I wouldn’t call that nothing. Toronto was coming off a 23 win season. It was a crazy gamble for a bad team to take, and even with Lowry panning out better than anyone’s wildest expectations, Houston still ended up getting more out of the trade.

  52. Glew

    If you know anything about sales, you never rush to proposal. Waiting creates a need. I think it’s smart what Phil is doing there’s only 4 teams without a coach and he doesn’t look desperate. Knicks fans/media look childish for scorching him for a patient type of approach.

    Now if rambis is hired as HC, scorching Phil for waiting and then making a bad call is warranted.

  53. lavor postell

    @max fisher-cohen

    They got an All-Star caliber PG in his prime under a cheap contract for 2 more seasons for Steven Adams, who is really good. That’s very much a steal for Toronto, his playoff struggles notwithstanding.

  54. stratomatic

    He gave Bargs the awful contract that the Knicks traded a first round pick for.

    That contract was awful no matter how you slice it, but there was a point early in Barg’s career where it was possible to envision him becoming a good player. He shot 40.9% from 3 and had a TS% of 56% at 23 years of age and seemed to be on the upside. So if you envisioned him as a big man that could create off the dribble and shoot 40% from 3, he looked like a serious match up problem in the kind of spaced offense they were trying to create in Toronto. He just turned out to be soft mentally and physically and went backward instead of forward.

  55. Brian Cronin

    I think Colangelo actually drafted pretty well in Toronto (even the terrible Bargs was a pretty consensus pick at the time), but he was not a particularly good trader (Lowry being his best move, and that was a protected pick where it had to be in the top ten, so it was a top ten pick for Lowry – it worked out, but that was a lot to give up) or free agent signer. The most embarrassing one was probably signing Landry Fields as part of an elaborate plot to get Steve Nash and then didn’t get Steve Nash.

  56. Brian Cronin

    I looooove Joerger. I’d put him at the top of the list easily. I think he’s a top ten coach in the NBA easy. And good for him. Memphis has underappreciated him for a long time (a lot of “Well, I guess we’ll bring you back” when the guy was awesome!). Screw them. There’s a good reason that this is the second time in three years he’s asked if he could leave. I think he’s getting the Sacramento job. I don’t know why he wants that job, but it’s probably more that he no longer wanted to be in Memphis and Sacto will probably pay him a goodly sum. This could be Boogie’s lucky day to get Joerger coaching him.

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