WINTER GARDEN, Fla. — At the end of the Knicks’ first summer league practice, team president Phil Jackson strolled onto the court and gathered all the coaches at the far end to go over some things.
New head coach Jeff Hornacek may want to get used to this.
The triangle offense remains the backbone of the Knicks’ system, and Jackson showed he will be giving pointers to Hornacek and his staff since many of the coaches haven’t run it.
“He’s the expert on all the aspects and he’s giving us little hints to add and things to take a look at as we progress with showing them all the stuff,” Hornacek said. “He sees things, he’s going to mention it to us. I think that’s great.”
When asked if it’s weird to have the president of the team do that, Hornacek, the former Suns’ coach, said no.
“How many GMs have as many championships and ran the offense?” he said. “I don’t think it’s weird at all. It’s basketball. All coaches want to have different thoughts. Nobody can expect to know everything. With Phil’s expertise in seeing this run for years and years, any little hints he can give us have been helpful.”
The Knicks haven’t made any formal announcements yet, but Kurt Rambis will be back as associate head coach, along with holdovers from last season Joshua Longstaff and Dave Bliss.
The new additions are Jerry Sichting and Corey Gaines — both of whom assisted Hornacek in Phoenix — and his former Jazz teammate Howard Eisley, also a former Knick.
Jim Cleamons, Brian Keefe and Rasheed Hazzard won’t return.
Since Hornacek likely will leave for a few days for free-agent meetings, Westchester Knicks coach Mike Miller will coach the summer league team along with his assistant Coby Karl, and Longstaff. Hornacek said he chose Miller because they “run the same stuff” in the D-League.
Rambis, who ended last season as interim coach and was strongly considered for the full-time position, will be Hornacek’s lead assistant this season.
“I guess his title would say that,” Hornacek said. “They’re coaches. They’re assistant coaches. You want to listen to all of them. But again, with Kurt’s title, I would guess if you have to name one guy that I get thrown out then he’s probably the guy.”