The coaching search is on in New York, and the best possible candidate has already been eliminated.
Phil Jackson won’t be hiring himself to coach the Knicks.
Two days after firing Mike Woodson, Jackson reiterated Wednesday he won’t be returning to the bench.
Jackson, who retired from coaching in 2011 after winning an NBA-record 11 titles, said his body isn’t up to it.
So the new team president said he’s looking for a leader with the personality and charisma to succeed in New York. He hopes to talk with Steve Kerr, the TNT analyst frequently mentioned as the leading candidate, sometime within the next month.
‘‘New York, I think, demands a personality, a person that the fans can believe in, a person that has some confidence, has the charismatic appeal, and I think has a forward-looking idea about the game,’’ Jackson said.
Jackson believes Kerr, who played for him in Chicago and served as general manager of the Suns, could be that person. He discussed Kerr’s potential interest in coaching last year when a group was trying to buy the Kings and move them to Seattle. Jackson was prepared to run their basketball operations.
Jackson wants a coach before the summer league. He has other candidates in mind. ‘‘You don’t want to know their names,” he said. “I don’t want you to have their names.’’
Vogel on hot seat?
All is not well in Indiana, despite the Pacers evening their playoff series with the eighth-seeded Hawks Tuesday night.
Following a dramatic dropoff in play — and wins — down the stretch of the regular season, Frank Vogel is “coaching for his job”, sources close to the situation told ESPN.com.
Indiana began the season 40-11, but finished 16-15 before losing the series opener at home to Atlanta.
Team president Larry Bird will have the final say in whether Vogel is retained, the sources said. The coach is under contract through next season, the result of an extension he received during last season.
Dragic has improved
Goran Dragic, whose breakout season helped the Phoenix Suns make a remarkable transformation, was presented the most improved player award at US Airways Center.
Dragic averaged 20.5 points and 5.9 assists per game, shooting 50.5 percent from the field, 40.8 percent on 3-pointers.
Indiana’s Lance Stephenson was second and New Orleans’s Anthony Davis third.