Spike Lee didn't become the most visible -- and audible -- New York Knicks fan around by keeping his views to himself. The longtime Knickerbockers backer was likely speaking for fans in all five boroughs when he offered his latest take on the franchise's coaching search.
"I want Phil Jackson to coach," Lee told HuffPost Live's Marc Lamont Hill on Monday when asked about the Knicks' reported interest in Steve Kerr filling the team's coaching vacancy.
Jackson, who won two titles in New York as a player and then 11 as a coach with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, returned to the Knicks as team president in March. In one of his first moves leading the franchise, Jackson fired head coach Mike Woodson in April after the team missed the NBA playoffs. When Lee visited HuffPost Live, the team was reportedly nearing a deal with Kerr, a TNT broadcaster and former Phoenix Suns general manager who played for Jackson with the Bulls. Citing an unnamed source close to Kerr, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported on Sunday that the TNT analyst and the Knicks were "inching closer to finalizing a deal."
With that deal not yet in place, Lee seemed to be holding out hope for a change of heart from Jackson, who has previously stated that his coaching days are behind him.
"That's what everybody wants. He says he's not physically able to do it," Lee said, adding "Even Jeanie Buss said he should coach."
Buss, Jackson's fiancee and a part-owner of the Lakers, apparently agreed with Lee about the Knicks' best coaching option. According to Jackson, not even she could persuade him.
"If there's anyone that can convince me to do anything, it's Jeanie Buss. But I was able to withstand her arguments," Jackson told reporters just days after firing Woodson and the rest of the Knicks coaching staff, via Alex Kennedy of NBA Insiders.
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