Luke Walton wanted to see Phil Jackson and the triangle offense succeed with the Knicks. Jackson’s departure didn’t sit well with Walton, the Lakers coach.
“I don’t know all the details of what was going on here, obviously, but a mentor to me like that and someone that means as much to me as Phil does, I’m not in favor of it happening,” said Walton, who played for Jackson on the Lakers.
“There’s people out here that I wanted to see succeed,” Walton said. “I love the triangle offense. I wanted to see that work. But for whatever reasons it didn’t.”
The Knicks fired Jackson in June after a rough season and offseason that included him alienating and publicly criticizing Carmelo Anthony, and putting Kristaps Porzingis on the trade block.
Walton, who doesn’t run the triangle, said he reaches out to Jackson from time to time, and asks him some questions. They spoke two weeks ago, Walton said, and Jackson offered “good advice.”
No change for Ntilikina
Jeff Hornacek said “not at this point” when asked if he’s considering starting rookie Frank Ntilikina. Hornacek likes how veteran Jarret Jack is playing. But the Knicks coach is thinking about inserting Ntilikina earlier in games, particularly in the second half.
“Jarrett’s done a great job for us,” Hornacek said. “Right now I think Frank’s taken to learning from Jarrett and really observing him. When he gets his chance, he gets out there and plays. It’s been good so far.”
Former Knick Amar’e Stoudemire was back at the Garden to light the ceremonial menorah on the first night of Hanukkah.
Stoudemire, who converted to Judaism, said he has texted with Anthony since his trade to Oklahoma City. But he offered no opinion on the situation or what happened after he was bought out by the Knicks in 2015. The retired Stoudemire ended his career last year after winning the Isreali Basketball League title playing for Hoepel Jerusalem, a team he partly owns.
“I just stayed out of it,” Stoudemire said. “I was focused on trying to figure out what I was going to do as far as my career. My goal was to win a championship. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get that done in the NBA. But I got a championship. So I was able to accomplish all my goals as a basketball player and I feel very satisfied about that.
“Hopefully it works out for the best for both parties. I think both parties are satisfied with what took place.”