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The interest is real.

From Yahoo! Sports, it looks like those rumors of the Knicks and Avery Johnson having mutual interest are true.

New York Knicks president Donnie Walsh is racking up the mileage. On Tuesday, he's scheduled to fly to Houston in team owner Jim Dolan's private plane to meet with Avery Johnson regarding the Knicks' coaching vacancy.

Earlier Monday, Sports Illustrated's Jack McCallum reported that Walsh had also jetted to Phoenix to meet with Suns coach Mike D'Antoni. Suns GM Steve Kerr announced Monday he has given D'Antoni permission to speak with other teams. Chicago Bulls officials also reportedly have spoken with D'Antoni.

Knicks spokesperson Jonathan Supranowitz said he could not confirm either of the team's meetings with Johnson or D'Antoni.

Good to know that Supranowitz is still as deceptive as ever. Nothing better than a mute spokesperson.

Anyway, it's good to know that Walsh is, as rumored, exploring a variety of options and not just settling on Jackson. Preacher (I'm calling him "Preacher" now, at least occasionally, because of his role in Eddie) may not even be the leading candidate anymore, for all we know. Maybe he never was. Maybe he doesn't even exist. Leave your thoughts on Walsh/Johnson '08 and the potential that Mark Jackson is a shape-shifting entity from another realm in the comments. Peace.

(Tip of the hat to Brett Edwards at the Fanhouse)