DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 13: Assistant coach Kurt Rambis of the Los Angeles Lakers directs Pau Gasol #16, Jordan Hill #27 and Jodie Meeks #20 of the Los Angeles Lakers against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on November 13, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Lakers 111-99. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The New York Knicks are slowly, but surely, resembling the Lakers in past years.
The latest example entails Kurt Rambis, who has agreed to a four-year deal worth $1.2 million to become a Knicks assistant coach under Derek Fisher, according to a league source familiar with the situation. The Knicks are expected to make an official announcement on Monday.
ESPN New York first reported this development.
Rambis had interviewed with the Lakers surrounding their head-coaching vacancy. He also had one year left on his contract as a Lakers assistant coach. But the Lakers provided no indications on if Rambis was a favored candidate in their coaching search. The Lakers, as do most NBA teams, also grant the head coach autonomy in assembling his own staff. Most coaches often lean on past assistants and mentors to fill those spots.
Rambis isn’t the only Lakers’ head-coaching candidate to take another position. Alvin Gentry joined Steve Kerr’s coaching staff with the Golden State Warriors as an associate head coach. Although Lionel Hollins and the Lakers discussed potentially having a second interview, the Brooklyn Nets’ head-coaching vacancy was more desirable following Jason Kidd’s controversial departure to Milwaukee. The Lakers have interviewed Byron Scott twice, while Mike Dunleavy met solely with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak
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Has served in several capacities with the Lakers — player, assistant coach, head coach, assistant general manager. After taking over as coach for the fired Del Harris, Rambis’ Lakers finished with a 24-13 (.648) record but lost in the 1999 conference semifinals. Later became head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves for two seasons, going 56-145 (.279) before getting fired in 2011. Is currently back with the Lakers as an assistant. Turned 56 in February. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
With Derek Fisher officially introduced as the New York Knicks’ head coach on Tuesday, the Lakers have granted the Knicks’ permission to interview Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis about joining his staff, according to a league source familiar with the situation.
Rambis would seem to be a natural fit to serve as one of Fisher’s assistants since they are both considered close to Knicks president and former Lakers coach Phil Jackson. Rambis’ coaching philosophies also mirror some of the triangle elements and post-up schemes that Jackson likes in his system. It is not clear when a formal discussion would take place. But Rambis is “willing to listen” about possibly joining Fisher’s staff, according to a league source familiar with his thinking.
But such an arrangement could hinge on the Lakers’ coaching search.
Rambis interviewed with the Lakers two weeks ago for the vacant head-coaching position left by Mike D’Antoni. Although Rambis represents a flurry of veteran coaches the Lakers interviewed, they have not narrowed down a candidate. They have decided only to zero in on coaches with past NBA head-coaching experience and do not have any interviews currently scheduled. But they plan to have follow-up interviews at some point.
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