Carmelo Anthony: Communication on hire needed if Knicks to right ship

NEW YORK -- Carmelo Anthony would like to have some input on the Knicks' upcoming personnel decisions, including the club's next head-coaching hire.

"I think you have to," he said Wednesday night. "I think you have to have some type of input, whether it's input or dialogue, whatever word that you want to use. I think you have to have that. I think at this point it needs to be some type of connection, some type of communication. Especially if we want to right this ship, there definitely needs to be some type of communication."

Anthony added that he had yet to speak to team president Phil Jackson or other members of the team's front office about plans to fill the coaching vacancy.

The Knicks are giving strong consideration to making interim coach Kurt Rambis their full-time coach, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday that Rambis, who has served as the Knicks' interim coach since Derek Fisher was fired Feb. 8, is Jackson's preferred choice. Sources say Jackson is pushing for a new multiyear deal for Rambis despite New York's 8-17 record since the coaching change.

Anthony, 31, on Wednesday commended Rambis' work as interim coach.

"I like Kurt," he said. "I thought he was kind of thrown into a tough situation with the firing of [Fisher] and kind of gathering the troops, getting guys to play and finish the season up. As far as what's going to happen this summer, this offseason and next year, who's going to be in that spot, I have no idea. I haven't had any conversations with anybody about that. I'm pretty sure they'll address that when the offseason comes.

"I would love to have some type of input when it comes to that. But like I said, nobody has had a conversation about that yet."

Anthony said last month that Rambis should be considered for the team's coaching vacancy. He said he believed that Rambis should be judged based on how the team responded to him once he took over.

But Anthony, speaking during the team's West Coast road trip, added: "I think you still have to at least listen to other candidates out there."

Rambis said Wednesday that he would fully welcome the opportunity to coach the team full time.

"It would be fantastic," Rambis said before the Knicks' 111-97 loss to the Charlotte Hornets. "I want to be a head coach in this league. This is a great franchise; it's a terrific city, fan base. It would be a thrill beyond thrills in order to take this situation from where it was when we all first came here and turn it into a situation where it's extremely promising and we have a chance to get in the playoffs and do well in the playoffs and get this city and this organization a potential championship. That's a goal, and that would be a tremendous thrill."

Rambis worked two stints as an assistant coach to Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers, joining him for four of his 11 championship rings, and has grown very close to Jackson thanks to that longstanding relationship.

"We communicate well," Rambis said of Jackson. "Is anybody within this organization satisfied with where we're at? No. We know we have to improve."

Sources say Jackson, who took his post with the Knicks in March 2014, has had a much more frequent presence at Knicks practices at home since Rambis took over.

"We're on the same page in terms of what's needed, what's missing, what we aren't doing well. We have a clear understanding of that," Rambis said of his relationship with Jackson. "Now it's just a matter of being in a situation where we can correct that and get the guys playing the way we would like for them to play and the way we envision them playing."

Rambis, though, pushed back against the idea that he would be a puppet of sorts as a coach under Jackson. Fisher, Jackson's first coaching hire, also bristled at the perception of being under Jackson's thumb.

"I grew up playing basketball a certain way, and it's very consistent with what Phil believes and thinks," Rambis said. "So I don't consider myself a puppet of his. It's just a mindset of how we think the game should be played."

Rambis added that a close relationship between coaches and team executives is vital for success. It's believed that he was not in lockstep with Minnesota Timberwolves executives during his two-season coaching stint there. He went 32-132 in Minnesota from 2009-11.

"It's extremely important," Rambis said of the coach-executive relationship. "It's so important that that's why you see some coaches that have clout in this league wanting to be able to be the administrator and the head coach, and hopefully they have a good relationship with themselves."

He added: "The owners have to be driven, too. We have that here. [Knicks owner James] Dolan is driven to win a championship, so that's never a concern. So having that relationship and understanding and being on the same page is critical to making everything work well."

Jackson, 70, has insisted that he can no longer handle the day-to-day rigors of coaching. Sources say he sees Rambis as the coach best suited to not only run the triangle offense he favors but also manage the team using Jackson's long-held principles.

Rambis has run the triangle with the Knicks and says the club is improving but isn't close to where it needs to be to run the offense well.

Asked Wednesday whether he felt he had done enough to show that he can move the team forward, Rambis said, "Have they moved forward as much as I'd like them to? No.

"I have high expectations for myself. I have high expectations for the team. I think the future of this organization is bright, is promising. I would like to be a part of that process as it moves forward."

ESPN's Marc Stein contributed to this report.