An incendiary WojBomb fell on the Tri-State Area Wednesday morning when the world first learned of the meeting taking place between Knicks team president Phil Jackson and former Cavaliers coach David Blatt. This led to speculation -- because there is always speculation -- that the Zen Master was merely conducting a token interview of vice president Steve Mills' old college buddy before turning his sights back to members of his beloved Triangle Gang.
That might not be the case, according to The Wall Street Journal's Chris Herring. In truth, Blatt caught Jackson's eye well before he took a job with Mills and the Knicks:
Jackson was said to respect Blatt's offensive mind even before Blatt returned to the U.S. from Israel to take what would later become the high-profile job of coaching LeBron James in Cleveland. In fact, when Jackson served as a consultant for the Detroit Pistons in 2013, he put Blatt's name on a short list of candidates the team should consider hiring as an offensive coordinator, according to a league source.
Offensive coordinator? Given Phil's constant references to that side of the ball, there can be no higher complement than being put in charge of his offense. Of course, he was only a consultant at the time -- perhaps he didn't care about having a bond with Blatt and simply recommended the best man for the job. Hiring the best man for the job ... wouldn't that be something!
The key point here is that we can put aside notions of Blatt being strictly a Steve Mills guy. Blatt teams have run the kind of system basketball that Jackson professes to love, even if it wasn't necessarily the Triangle. This could be start of a beautiful friendship. Please, Phil, let this be the start of a beautiful friendship.