Phil Jackson will meet with a few New York Knicks players to go over the club's triangle offense this week, and interim head coach Kurt Rambis will join him, league sources confirmed.
In addition to being further evidence of Jackson's commitment to the triangle offense, the meetings are significant because Rambis, a strong candidate for the Knicks' head-coaching vacancy, will be in attendance.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Jackson confirmed that Rambis will be considered for the full-time job. The Knicks went 9-19 under Rambis, who took over for the fired Derek Fisher in early February.
Jackson said last week that he planned to talk to multiple candidates about the vacancy. Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton recently spoke with Jackson informally about the Knicks' vacancy, sources say.
After the conversation, Jackson told people within the Knicks organization that he believed Walton would stay with the Warriors, a source told ESPN's Chris Broussard. Jackson intimated on Thursday that he plans to reach out to several candidates before making a decision.
"People I probably know will be in the interview process," Jackson said. "I will reach out to make connections to some people."
Sources told ESPN.com last week that the Knicks are interested in formerCleveland Cavalierscoach David Blatt, among others.
Jackson has made it clear that he plans to continue to run the triangle offense in New York. The next coach he hires will likely have to agree to run the system.
Rambis, who worked under Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers, has intimate knowledge of the offense. Jackson recently complimented Rambis for the way the Knicks executed the offense during his tenure as interim coach.
"They had an immersion in the triangle," Jackson said last week. "When Kurt started coaching the team, they started executing it with more structure. We saw some progress, but we have to make the next step."
Hiring a coach is the first step in a pivotal offseason for Jackson. The Knicks are projected to have at least $18 million to spend in free agency, and Jackson hopes to upgrade the roster after losing a combined 115 games the past two seasons.
Jackson said last week that rookie Kristaps Porzingis will be a draw in free agency.
"We've had so many people come up to us and say they want to play for a guy like KP, which is a nice thing to hear from various agents," Jackson said. ".... So we feel we have an attractive product here."
Jackson's meeting with players to go over the triangle offense was first reported by the New York Daily News.