Marc Berman of the Post dropped a few juicy tidbits into his Monday night article on Kurt Rambis's future chances of remaining head coach of the New York Knicks. Most of it is the standard "Rambis's relationship with Phil Jackson" remains stronger than ever" stuff, but let's have some fun and go straight to the gossip!
Sources have indicated the players don't respect Rambis with the same vigor as they did Fisher, evidenced by Arron Afflalo's dissonance and Carmelo Anthony's lukewarm attitude toward the interim coach.
Don't forget Robin Lopez routinely yelling at Rambis during games! This lack of respect from the veteran players may be due somewhat to the fact that Rambis has shown himself to be vastly more interested in keeping his job than in the growth of the team ... or, in Afflalo's case, the fact that he was benched for freakin' Sasha Vujacic.
It should be remembered, however, that Fisher didn't exactly have the full support of the players either. They essentially quit on him by the end of January. And the dynamic between Fish and Jackson's hand-picked assists was even more awkward than we ever imagined:
Things were so bizarre under Fisher that, according to sources, assistant coach/former point guard Jim Cleamons was told to limit his contacts with rookie Jerian Grant. Rambis has given Cleamons free rein to speak with Grant, and he's showed progress in recent weeks after stagnancy under Fisher.
Not sure how much, if any, of Grant's recent progress can be attributed to Jim Cleamons, but it's crazy to think that a head coach would try to stop an assistant from getting in extra work with a rookie. I mean, that's "Mark Jackson's final season coaching the Warriors" levels of crazy.
As for potential replacements, Berman's SAUCES get the feeling Luke Walton isn't leaving Golden State this summer. Given the fact that the Warriors are an all-time great squad coached by a dude with serious back issues, that's probably a wise choice.
And as for Tom Thibodeau ...
Jackson speaks with Chicago's Paxson brothers and doesn't seem impressed with the former Bulls coach, who revels in crisis and chaos. Jackson knows this Knicks organization has had enough of that.
The Bulls' front office is even more despised than the Knicks' front office at the moment, so it's only natural that the Knicks' president would be taking their advice! I'm not sure exactly how Thibs revels in crisis and chaos; he wasn't intentionally injuring his own players (at least that we know of), and Bulls management doesn't get along with anybody.
Frankly, all this speculation doesn't mean jack shit. If Phil did everything he was reportedly set on doing at the time, the Knicks would be starting Frank Kaminsky right now and they would have traded Jerian Grant and a 2018 first-rounder for Jeff Teague. Nothing Phil Jackson says provides any real indication of what he's actually planning to do.