The NBA rumor mill has it that Zen master Phil Jackson is considering ousted Cavaliers coach David Blatt for the hot seat on the Knicks bench. (The Knicks head coaching seat is hot with how many lights shine on it; it’s cold if you’re counting wins this century.) Blatt makes a lot of sense for the Knicks. First of all, he was an unadulterated success in his sole NBA coaching gig, getting to the Finals in his only full season and nearly winning with his two of his best players in street clothes.
But LeBron James — oops, sorry — the Cavaliers fired Blatt when he started just 30-11 the next season — the best record in the conference. So for one, Blatt is used to a hot seat. But it’s the Princeton connection that makes Blatt an appealing option. Next to Phil’s triangle offense the most famous offense in basketball is the Princeton offense, whose ball movement emphasis and enduring influence can be seen in today’s Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs juggernauts. Plus Jackson has always considered himself a sort of honorary Ivy Leaguer — he roomed with Princeton legend Bill Bradley when they were both Knicks — and Phil has even written more books than his Ivy League pal, the former Senator. BTW, the Knicks GM Steve Mills played with Blatt at Princeton.