Knicks general manager Steve Mills has spoken with former Pacers coach Frank Vogel’s agent, a league source confirmed. Mills made the call while team president Phil Jackson was away on vacation.
It is not clear whether the Knicks will interview Vogel, who served as an advance scout with the Lakers when Jackson coached there (Vogel was quoted as saying he has met Jackson only once). He is expected to be a leading candidate for the Houston Rockets’ job.
Vogel doesn’t run the triangle offense, which is Jackson’s system of choice. Jackson has said he will interview “only people I probably know” and someone he has “compatibility with what I do as a leader.” That’s why interim coach Kurt Rambis remains a strong candidate to get the job.
Carmelo Anthony repeatedly has said he would like Jackson to conduct an open coaching search. Jackson has met with former Cavaliers coach David Blatt and spoke with Luke Walton, who played for him with the Lakers. Walton, who continues to serve as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors during their playoff run, ended up taking the Lakers’ job.
Vogel became a free agent Thursday when Pacers president Larry Bird announced he would not be renewing his contract. Vogel guided Indiana to a 250-181 record and reached the Eastern Conference finals twice in parts of six seasons with the Pacers.
The New York Post first reported that the Knicks contacted Vogel to gauge his interest in the Knicks’ vacancy.