MINNEAPOLIS — Kurt Rambis’ career coaching record isn’t easy on the eyes, but he said that doesn’t concern him.
When he became the Timberwolves’ coach in 2009, they were going through a rebuilding situation. They went 32-132 in Rambis’ two seasons.
“I don’t judge myself on the record,” the Knicks’ interim coach said. “I understand the process that you have to go through, and things don’t happen or change overnight in any situation. Players take time to grow and develop.”
Rambis earned his first victory in three games as Knicks coach Saturday night. “I’m a competitive individual,” he said. “I’m not going to run away from a challenge. I embrace a challenge and try and do the best job that I can. That’s what I tried to do here and that’s what I’m going to do with New York.
“I’m not going to look at the record and say, ‘Woe is me,’ and I’m not going to send that message to the players, either. I’m going to continue to challenge them that they got to continue to grow and get better. They can’t stay stagnant. The organization knows that, too.”
The Knicks couldn’t upgrade the point guard position by Thursday’s trade deadline. They continue to hope rookie Jerian Grant — who has been erratic and in and out of the rotation — can improve his play.
Rambis said Grant “turned his jets back on” in the first two practices after the All-Star break. Grant did not play Saturday night, but Rambis liked what he saw from him on Friday night.
“He just needs to mature and grow,” Rambis said. “He’s got to be able to play at a speed where he can make high-quality decisions. But that aggressiveness and his ability to attack the basket, those are things we like in him. He’s got good length to be able to play defense and he’s got the speed to play pressure defense and we’ve got to encourage him to do that more. But you need experience.”
The Knicks will add another guard in shooter Jimmer Fredette, who will sign a 10-day contract tomorrow.
Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio reportedly was available before the trade deadline. When coach Sam Mitchell was asked about it, he held his hand over his head and said, “Above my pay grade.”
Robin Lopez initially said he wasn’t motivated after his twin brother Brook scored 33 points in the Nets’ win over the Knicks on Friday night. But then he said maybe “subconsciously” Brook contributed to his 26-point, 16-rebound effort in Saturday night’s victory over Minnesota.
Robin said he was with his girlfriend and Brook after the game and that his brother “was laying into both of us pretty hard.”
“I guess maybe subconsciously there was some kind of response,” Robin said. “I had to protect some manhood thing. I can’t find the right words for it, but I’m sure you can.”
The Knicks will sign Jimmer Fredette to a 10-day contract tomorrow. When Carmelo Anthony was asked how Fredette can help the Knicks, and didn’t exactly give him a ringing endorsement.
“To be honest I haven’t seen Jimmy play in a long time,” Anthony said. “I’ve been hearing about him, about what he’s been doing down there in the D-League. But I haven’t seen him play actually in a long time.”