So what does Phil Jackson do now?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Find a coach! Which begins with actually looking for a coach!

Steve Kerr spurned the Knicks. More like Steve Spur..n. Wait. More like Spur...uh more like Steve Sperr...shit, I dunno. Anyway, Steve Kerr chose the Warriors. It's not really that dramatic. We knew from the outset that Kerr valued the opportunity to work for Phil Jackson, but also felt wary about joining James Dolan's organization. Any reasonable person would. In the end, the appeal of the Warriors situation pulled harder than the gravity of Jackson. Also, money. More money.

In the context of a normal coaching search, losing a rookie candidate to a better team in the candidate's home state wouldn't get much notice. In the context of the Knicks' single-minded pursuit of Kerr, whiffing on Phil Jackson's first choice looks kinda bad and raises questions about whether the pointing hand and the paying hand are fully united. It is so very Knicksy for the organization to position itself such that a small loss feels way graver than it should. But there are a lot more coaches, and maybe the Knicks will do a proper search with candidates and interviews and competition and stuff.

So what's Phil Jackson up to? Right now, he's up to some GM stuff! How about that! The draft combine is going on and, even though the Knicks don't have a pick, they're there to conduct interviews, Jackson included. So that's nice. Eventually, he should get back to finding a coach. Where will he look? No one has a good sense, which means we're back to just listing people Jackson already knows from previous jobs: Derek Fisher, Kurt Rambis, Luke Walton, Mark Madsen, Tyronn Lue (very intriguing prospect, I think), NOT Brian Shaw, and so forth. '00s Laker people, probably some '90s Bulls people. 

My guess, based on the way the Kerr stuff was talked about, is that Jackson wants to coach the Knicks by proxy to an extent. I suspect the reason Stan Van Gundy was never considered-- and Mark Jackson and Lionel Hollins and company probably won't be-- is that Jackson wants someone amenable to some puppetry. That sounds unorthodox and perhaps a little thorny, but it makes sense to me. Jackson is a genius or whatever but not in physical condition to coach, so he establishes a Triangle-driven schematic blueprint and enlists a disciple to enact it while he presides from a giant glass light tube, Zordon-style. Established coaches with their own dogmas probably wouldn't be down with that, which is why Jackson hasn't been pursuing them. This is is a hypothesis. 

So, we'll see where Jackson goes. He needs a coach, and he might need a GM as well. In all such pursuits, he needs James Dolan fully on his side. I hope that's still the case.

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