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Phil Jackson pushing for New York Knicks to keep Kurt Rambis

By The Sports Xchange
Phil Jackson pushing for New York Knicks to keep Kurt Rambis
New York Knicks head coach Kurt Rambis argues with an official in the 4th quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden in New York City on April 3, 2016. The Pacers defeated the Knicks 92-87. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson is pushing to make Kurt Rambis the team's permanent head coach, according to reports Wednesday.

Sources told ESPN.com that Rambis, who has served as the Knicks' interim head coach since Derek Fisher was fired on Feb. 8, is the preferred choice of Jackson.

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Despite Rambis going 8-16 since the coaching change, Jackson wants to give him a new multiyear deal, according to the report.

Rambis, 58, has a longstanding relationship with Jackson.

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Rambis worked two stints as an assistant coach to Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers, joining him for four of his 11 championship rings.

The 70-year-old Jackson, who took over his post with the Knicks in March 2014, has had a much more frequent presence at Knicks' practices at home since Rambis took over as interim coach. Jackson sees Rambis as the coach best-suited to run the Triangle offense and institute Jackson's coaching principles, according to ESPN.

"Kurt and I have a relationship that goes back to 2001," Jackson said last month. "He knows the ins and outs, what pleases me and probably I want to have changed. We have a relationship where he'll call up and say, 'What do you think about that game,' or 'What do you think about the substitution pattern;' or I'll say, 'What happened at the end of the Boston game, I need to know.' We have a relationship that's much more tight."

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Jackson made the abrupt decision to fire Fisher after a 23-31 start to the season. Fisher, who signed a five-year, $25 million deal to coach the Knicks, had an overall record of 40-96.

Rambis held a full-time head coaching job only once before, compiling a 32-132 record over two seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves following a 24-13 stint as the Lakers' interim coach during the 1998-99 season.

The Knicks entered Wednesday night's game against the Charlotte Hornets with a 31-47 record and will miss the playoffs for the third straight season.

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