Walton did receive a look, but it was reportedly for a position as an assistant coach and not that of head coach.
According to ESPNNewYork.com’s Ian Begley, discussions have certainly taken place between Jackson and Walton.
Luke Walton says that he spoke with Phil Jackson about accepting a coaching position with the Knicks while Jackson was courting current Golden State coach Steve Kerr. But Walton hasn’t talked to Jackson since Kerr turned down the Knicks and accepted a head coaching position with the Warriors.
Begley also added that, “sources told ESPN.com earlier this week that [Kurt] Rambis and Walton are more likely regarded as potential assistants for the eventual coach.”
Walton also added on ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd, saying, “I’ve talked to Phil a bunch; thought about different things and I’ve talked to him in the past about coaching. He’s told me he thinks that I’ll be a great coach someday.”
Hiring Walton as an assistant makes much more sense than it does as hiring him as the head coach right now considering that Walton has no previous head-coaching experience.
But that is something that hasn’t fazed Jackson as both of his top candidates, Kerr and Derek Fisher have had no head coaching experience either.
However Jackson explained to Begley why he is committed to finding a Knicks coach with which he is familiar with.
“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,” said Jackson. “We’ve had conflicts, we’ve had disagreements and we know how to work things out. Those, I think, are part and parcel I think to have a relationship with people that can work together that can still disagree and come to terms.”
With Jackson heading to Turkey for his son’s wedding this week, I would expect some of these open vacancies to start being filled this week.