Team president Phil Jackson loosely discussed the Knicks' head-coaching vacancy with Golden State Warriors assistant Luke Walton last week, but sources say that the Knicks, at this point, are not seriously considering anyone beyond Rambis or Blatt.
Jackson and the Knicks did not reach out to ex-Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau to discuss the club's vacancy before Thibodeau agreed to accept the Minnesota Timberwolves' offer to become coach and team president on Wednesday, sources said.
The Knicks could yet elect to broaden their search, with no need to rush the decision since they have no first-round picks in the upcoming June draft, but Jackson's desire for Rambis to take over full time is well documented.
As ESPN.com first reported April 5, Rambis is receiving strong consideration to stay on despite his modest 9-19 record as interim coach because Jackson views him as the coach best suited to not only run the triangle offense he favors but also to manage the team using Jackson's long-held principles.
Rambis took over on an interim basis for the fired Derek Fisher on Feb. 8. At season's end, Jackson complimented Rambis for helping the Knicks run the triangle offense more effectively.
"They had an immersion in the triangle," Jackson said last week. "When Kurt started coaching the team, they started executing it with more structure. We saw some progress, but we have to make the next step."
Jackson said Thursday that Rambis is the only coach he'd scheduled an interview with but did say he plans to talk to multiple candidates about the vacancy.
"People I probably know will be in the interview process," Jackson said. "I will reach out to make connections to some people."
Blatt, though, continues to be the only other known candidate besides Rambis after guiding Cleveland to the NBA Finals last year before his abrupt firing in January with the Cavs leading the East at 30-11. No coach in league history had been dismissed in-season with a higher winning percentage than Blatt's .732.
Blatt is a known quantity to Knicks general manager Steve Mills, who played with him at Princeton.
Other available names of coaching veterans with ties to either Jackson or the Knicks include Brian Shaw, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and Patrick Ewing.
If Rambis lands the permanent job, it will be his second full-time coaching stint in the NBA after a two-season run with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2009-10 and 2010-11. Rambis posted a 32-132 record in those two seasons with the Wolves.