Mark Jackson may not be a candidate for the Knicks' coaching job, but the native New Yorker and ESPN analyst said whoever gets the position had better be a tough-minded individual.
"Everybody's not made for New York City," Jackson said during a conference call Wednesday promoting the NBA Finals on ABC. "That's whether you're management, whether you're playing, whether you're coaching.
"I remember as a kid watching very good to great players play other places, be traded to the Knicks and not be the same type of player, whereas some propelled when they got the opportunity to put on a Knick uniform. And it's something about the fans. It's something about the pressure. It's something about the media.
"So to be quite honest, everybody is not built for it. It's a different animal. It's a different monster and it takes a special personality and a person understanding the things that come into play to a 'T'."
Jackson was fired by the Golden State Warriors last month and is the choice of many fans to coach the Knicks. But team president Phil Jackson has stated he wants someone with whom he has a prior relationship.
Steve Kerr was Phil Jackson's top pick, but Kerr turned down Jackson and took Mark Jackson's old job with the Warriors, elevating Derek Fisher as the leading candidate to get the Knicks' job now.
Phil Jackson is expected to speak to Fisher at some point this week, but he would need permission from the Thunder. Fisher is under contract until June 30. Since they know each other so well -- Fisher won five titles playing for Jackson with the Lakers -- it's doubtful it would be an interview as much as Jackson ascertaining whether Fisher wants to move from Los Angeles to New York and coach the Knicks.
Fisher's season ended Saturday, and he hasn't made his decision whether he wants to return as a player for a 19th season. One of his old teams, the Lakers, could have an interest in Fisher in some capacity, and the same goes for his current one in Oklahoma City.
As for Mark Jackson, he wouldn't say whether he has an interest in coaching the Knicks. But he grew up a Knicks fan and played for them. "It's an incredible job," he said. "It's an incredible opportunity and I'm sure that Phil Jackson will do an outstanding job of finding the right coach to get that organization and get that team headed back in the right situation."
Notes & quotes:Former North Carolina swingman P.J. Hairston will have a private workout with the Knicks today, according to ESPN. Hairston tweeted, "Next stop, New York." The Knicks don't have a pick in the June 26 draft, but Phil Jackson said they would try to acquire or buy one. Hairston, who was suspended from North Carolina during his junior year and not reinstated, is expected to be a first-round pick. He played for the Texas Legends of the D-League last year.
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