You already know this, but the latest vibes -- which is to say: idle rumors in the absence of hard data -- put David Blatt's name somewhere along/beneath Kurt Rambis's in the Knicks' coaching considerations. The Post and ESPN have both reported that Blatt is *the* other guy New York is considering at this moment (this very, very early moment in what could be a long and evolving process.) I have some things I think about this, and I have some questions:
1. David Blatt is a good, forward-thinking coach, which is an exciting prospect. Despite valid criticisms of the way he handled his stars (on the court, I mean, for now), I thought Blatt played a large role in making last year's Cavs as excellent as they were, and in crafting a wholesome attack out of a talented but imperfect roster. They defended quite well, too, which is what makes me like him best. (He also has a massive, gleaming body of work outside the NBA, of course.)
2. Blatt also seemed to have zero support from his biggest players by the end of his tenure. I don't know how much of that was the coach himself being proud and ill-attuned to an NBA locker room and how much of that was LeBron et al undermining him from almost the outset. Seems to have been a degree of both.
3. So, would we have to worry about something like that in New York? Carmelo Anthony is good friends with LeBron, although not agency-mates, which seems like a crucial distinction. And while there's no Tyronn Lue in New York, perhaps there would be a Kurt Rambis on staff, and we've already seen how that can go.
4. On that note, and backing up to present day: Does Phil Jackson himself have interest in Blatt? Blatt is very clearly a Steve Mills guy, since they were college teammates at Princeton. Is Blatt also the kind of person Jackson was talking about when he said he'd "reach out to make connections" with some head coach candidates? Or are these leaks of interest and potential interviews from Mills sending a line to the papers without Phil's blessing? It would be pretty stinky if the front office is cracking into factions before such an important decision. I have no idea what's going on. Just thinking aloud.
I'd like the Knicks to hire a good coach. I think David Blatt is a good coach, albeit one unable to maintain crucial bridges at his last job. I think he's a much better candidate than Kurt Rambis. I hope Phil agrees!