Harper won NBA five titles under (Phil) Jackson as a combo guard, playing five seasons in Chicago for the new Knicks team president and two seasons with the Lakers. He was also a teammate of Kerr’s in Chicago and Cleveland.
Harper said he has texted with Jackson a few times since he got the Knicks job.
“I would expect so,” Harper said of interviewing for a coaching job. “A few guys are expecting to hear from him. We’re in a wait-and-see mode. Whatever he needs me to do, I will do. He knows that.”
Harper, who lives in Wayne, N.J., works part-time for the NBA doing overseas camps and also helps run a basketball program called Overtime Sports in New Jersey. He was a Pistons assistant coach under Flip Saunders for two seasons in the mid-2000s after playing 15 seasons in the NBA. But he hasn’t been an NBA coach since 2007.
“One thing Phil wants to do is teach what he knows and teach the triangle,” Harper said. “I know it like the back of my hand, inside out, and he knows I love the game.”
“Phil’s a smart guy,” Harper said. “When you’re president, you try to bring in guys who are close to you. Phil’s got a game plan and only he knows it. We’ll wait and see.”
The triangle is considered too complicated for many coaches to install, but Harper disagrees.
“It’s not hard, it’s just getting five guys on the same page,” Harper said. “You just got to have guys who understand what their roles are, are very good passers, very smart and are interchangeable.”
Will Carmelo Anthony fit in well to the new geometry?
“I definitely think he’s very smart, with a high basketball IQ,” Harper said. “I think it’s been tough for him seeing him get it so far away from the hoop and having to go through two, three, four guys. This way he can be more one-on-one.”