It doesn't sound like Kurt Rambis is going anywhere. While the New York Knicks made no announcements regarding his future with the team when Jeff Hornacek was introduced as their new coach, president Phil Jackson told SNY on Monday that Rambis would be valuable if he was on Hornacek's staff.
"Kurt fits," Jackson said. "He fits in a number of ways. He was a teammate of Jeff's in Phoenix at one point in their careers. He's also a great team guy, has got a great idea of what we're trying to get accomplished, and I think he can help Jeff feel his way through this club and find the best way for them to play."
Rambis, who took over for Derek Fisher as head coach on an interim basis in February, was strongly rumored to be Jackson's top choice to coach the team long-term. Knicks fans were largely opposed to this idea, as Rambis went 32-132 as the head coach in Minnesota and 9-19 in New York.
Jackson's quote will probably worry Knicks fans, too, and it's more because of what Rambis represents than the idea that his presence will have some sort of corrosive effect on the team. When Hornacek was hired, it was thought to be a shift away from the triangle offense, a sign that New York was embracing modern basketball. At his introductory press conference, though, Hornacek said that the triangle will be "a part of our offense."
The Knicks are in a confusing place. Jackson believes in "system basketball," but he just hired a coach who largely let the Phoenix Suns freestyle on the offensive end. He also implied at the press conference that Hornacek would have more autonomy than Fisher did -- unlike Fisher, Hornacek has expierence running practices and managing a team. Fair or not, if Rambis comes back, people will wonder how much freedom Hornacek really has to coach New York his way.