Phil: I can't coach Knicks next season

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Unless the Knicks receive some form of divine intervention, Phil Jackson will not be coaching the team next season.

"I’m going to be interested in coaching," Jackson said. "It’s whether I can do it or not. ... At this point, I don’t see -- unless the Lord heals me in the next week or two -- I wouldn’t see myself being physically prepared to take on the grind of coaching a basketball team right now."

The new Knicks president revealed on Friday that the prospect of him coaching for one season as a transition period and then handing over the reins to another coach next year has been discussed. But Jackson said he would not be comfortable coaching in that capacity next season.

"That doesn't sit right with me right now," Jackson said.

With Jackson ruling himself out as a candidate, the focus turns to Thunder guard Derek Fisher. Jackson called Fisher "a person that's on my list of guys that could be very good candidates for this job."

However, Jackson made it clear that he's unsure whether Fisher, who is expected to retire at the end of the season, will be willing to coach at this point.

"He's got family in L.A. He's got little kids still in L.A. I have no idea if he wants to move his family and come here," Jackson said. "Those are things that he would have to express. There are so many unknowns."

Jackson lauded Fisher's leadership skills on Friday. Reading between the lines, it's not a stretch to assume the five-time NBA champ is a leading candidate for the Knicks job.

"Derek is one of those lead guards that had a real good concept of the game and liked doing the skill work and the drill work that’s necessary to hold guys to the premises of how to execute," Jackson said. "Watching these playoffs and seeing teams execute against pressure defense brings me right back to what basketball is all about. It’s about being prepared to do these types of things that break down defenses [in pressure situations]. That’s the way I was schooled in coaching and that’s the way I intend to school a coach that comes to work for us."

Shaw? Naw: Jackson also said that he doesn't intend to reach out to Denver to try to pry Brian Shaw from the Nuggets.

"Denver has everything that we owned for the last few years, so there's nothing else I want to give them," Jackson said in reference to the two first-round draft picks the Knicks sent to the Nuggets in acquiring Carmelo Anthony.

Relationships key: The Zen Master also said he intends to hire a coach with whom he has a previous relationship. So it would seem logical to rule out Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson at this point.

"I'd like to have a prior relationship with a coach so that we know that we’ve gone through some kind of issues together. We’ve dealt with some kind of battle situations. We’ve had conflicts, we’ve had disagreements and we know how to work things out," Jackson said. "Those, I think, are part and parcel, I think, to having a relationship with people that can work together that can still disagree and come to terms."

End game: Jackson hopes to have the coaching search wrapped up by July. He'll have to wait until the conclusion of the Thunder's season before he talks to Fisher. The Knicks fired Mike Woodson on April 21.

"I think we're just trying to get through this period of time and wait for a collection of individuals we feel will be the right people to talk to and then go forward," Jackson said.

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