The New York Knicks have officially reached out to former Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel, but amidst the request for an interview Knicks president of basketball operations is still nowhere present and rumors are swirling that the he is not even interested with Vogel.
Knicks general manager Steve Mills has been in close contact with Vogel’s representatives and according to ESPN a scheduled interview is on the works to gauge if Vogel is interested in coaching in New York and if he is ready to embrace a new system, which was part of the main reason he got fired by the Pacers.
The Pacers fired Vogel Thursday and it seemed that Pacers president of basketball operation Larry Bird hinted that disagreement as to how the team is handled was one of the main cause for Vogel to lose his job. Bird wanted an upbeat tempo with his Pacers in both ends of the floor, but Vogel wanted a traditional approach in the game using pick and rolls, using picks and screens.
Vogel had once run the triangle offense with the Pacers and thought that the philosophy of the Zen Master would run if given the right pieces to their offense. He also praised Jackson for his vision in running the same philosophy with the Knicks.
“From the standpoint of studying the NBA game, I was always a big fan of Phil Jackson and his approach. Obviously he had great players, but there were a lot of coaches with great players that didn’t win at the level he did. That was a big reason why I hired [Pacers associate head coach] Brian Shaw. He was as close to Phil as anyone could be and I thought I could rely on that experience and it’s been awesome,” Vogel said.
Vogel was first named interim coach for the Pacers midway during the 2010-11 season after Jim O’Brien was fired after which he was then named as the head coach of the team. Since taking the helm as bench tactician, Vogel tallied a 250-181 regular-season record and a 31-30 playoff record, the recent was losing in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs to the Toronto Raptors this season.
But the question is where Phil Jackson is in the midst of all this? ESPN reports that Jackson is on vacation in Iowa and Nebraska when the Vogel news broke out and the coaching search is put on hold. That is way Knicks general manager Mills was the one tasked to reach out to Vogel for the vacant position on their team.
Rumors are swelling that the vacation could very well indicate that Jackson is distancing himself from other named candidates for the Knicks such as David Blatt, Patrick Ewing and the rest. It sends a strong statement if he is even really interested with Vogel and that he also sends a familiar tone of his message that he is strongly considering naming close buddy Kurt Rambis to be the next head coach.