Phil doesn't want copycat coach for Knicks

Phil Jackson has already started talking to Steve Kerr about the Knicks’ head-coaching vacancy. He plans on interviewing other candidates as well.

We know that Jackson will be looking for a coach with a strong knowledge of the triangle offense, but he’s also looking for a head man with a charismatic personality.

"New York, I think, demands a personality, a person that fans can believe in, a person who has charismatic appeal and has a forward-looking idea about the game," Jackson said last week. "We are caught in sports -- in all sports actually, not just basketball -- [by] a lot of copycat things. What happens to people who win or how winning basketball is played, we try to replicate or duplicate it.

"And a lot of teams in our league are so bent on defense or a limited amount of time to teach skills that we get caught up in replicating what other people do because that’s the common denominator. I'm not looking for a coach who wants … to do that."

Jackson hasn’t yet committed exclusively to running the triangle offense, but he said last week that he’s looking for a coach who can teach ball movement, something the Knicks mostly lacked under Mike Woodson.

"I'm going to want to know about the skills that coaches are familiar with, the fact that they're capable of executing a system in which there are a lot of parts that are moving," Jackson said. "I like to see full involvement of players in an offensive format. As much as I think that there's been a big change in the game with a lot of screen-and-rolls and guys standing out in the corner shooting 3s, it's not the way I like to see basketball played.

"I like to see all the players involved in playmaking skills and operating in the offense itself with ball movement and player movement that's done with a purpose, and, a lot of times, we were a little bit more stagnant than that right now."

It sounds as if Jackson is also going to grill candidates about their ability to convey a system to their players.

"Coaching is about teaching," Jackson said. "And from that standpoint, people have to have something that they can teach that has some logic and structure to it that makes sense. I want to hear that."

Kerr is widely believed to be the leading candidate for the job. The ex-Phoenix Suns GM met with Jackson over dinner on Friday and spoke with him over the phone Saturday about the job. Kerr anticipates that he will continue to speak with Jackson.

Other candidates Jackson might be interested in include Derek Fisher, Kurt Rambis, Jim Cleamons and Brian Shaw.

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