With the Phil Jackson era officially underway in New York, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said he's willing to implement the triangle offense next season, perhaps with the guidance of the Zen Master himself.
Jackson and his assistant Tex Winter made the triangle system famous with the Chicago Bulls dynasty and the Los Angeles Lakers' championship teams. Now, in a plug to retain his job in 2014-15, Woodson is offering to run the legendary offense with Phil's help, per the Associated Press.
"Could I teach it? Absolutely I could teach it," he said. "But it'd be even better if he'd help me teach it. That would be great. Who would be better in teaching the triangle than Phil Jackson?"
This might seem like a desperate attempt to buoy his odds of returning, but Woodson is at least somewhat qualified to install the triangle.
Woodson said MIL ran triangle at times while he coached there from 96-97 until 98-99. Those tms finished 14th, 19th & 7th in offense.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) March 19, 2014
Of course, a few trials with the Milwaukee Bucks doesn't compare to the scope and depth of what Jackson would like New York to run, but it's a start.
Author Roland Lazenby, who has written numerous books about Jackson and Winter throughout the Chicago and L.A. days, has confidence in Woodson:
Mike Woodson is right. He could teach the triangle with Phil's help. He's an ol' IU guy under Knight. Has known system basketball for years— Roland Lazenby (@lazenby) March 20, 2014
It's great that Woodson is willing to run the triangle, and it's even better that he's completely open to Jackson's tutelage. It's also a good sign that guys like Lazenby believe in him.
But does Jackson himself have confidence in Woodson? Will the coach's proposition be enough to convince the Knicks president to keep him around?
Rumors have already swirled about former Bulls champion and Jackson pupil Steve Kerr potentially taking the coaching helm. Jackson will keep his options open, and hiring an outside entity who has extensive experience with the triangle is certainly a tempting route.
Whatever happens, Jackson wants to make his mark, and implementing the triangle is a tangible way to do so.
Dan O'Brien covers the NBA for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter: @DanielO_BR