Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan to Replace Mike D'Antoni as Next Knicks Coach?

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By Jonathan Moormann , Christian Post Contributor
March 14, 2012|4:18 pm

After Mike D'Antoni's resignation Wednesday afternoon, the New York Knicks may look to a veteran coach to right their ailing team and keep their playoff hopes alive.

D'Antoni, who finished 121-167 in three and a half seasons as the Knicks head coach, left the team after a six-game losing streak pushed New York into a tie for the East's eighth and final playoff spot.

D'Antoni's agent, Warren LeGarie, told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that his client's departure was "a mutual decision" over "conflicting views of the Knicks' future."

Assistant coach Mike Woodson is expected to take over as head coach for now, but rumors are already swirling about which big-name coach might be interested in taking over D'antoni's former job.

Perhaps the most popular suggestion is former Lakers and Bulls head coach Phil Jackson, who has won 11 NBA titles as a coach. Jackson is famous not just for being a great coach, but for handling star-laden teams with potentially combustible personalities.

Although Phil Jackson retired at the end of the 2010-11 season, he did play for the Knicks from 1967-1978, during which time the Knicks won two championships.

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"Phil Jackson is really not planning on coming back," says Bucher, "but if there is one place that would slightly attract him, it's New York."

Other options that have popped up over the day include former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan, one of only three NBA head coaches to have 15-plus seasons with a winning record.

Sloan, who has the third highest win total of any coach and holds a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame, abruptly retired from his position with the Jazz in February of 2011 after a public dispute with point guard Deron Williams.

Sloan has said in the past that he would consider a return to basketball, and CBS Sports is reporting that sources close to Sloan would be interested in taking over for the Knicks.

 

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