Citing that “It just felt like the right move on many levels,” Kerr said by phone Wednesday. “They have a good young team. The location is ideal. My daughter goes to Cal and plays volleyball. My oldest son is in college in San Diego and our youngest is a junior in high school. It’s just a short flight for them.” Steve Kerr turned down the chance to coach the New York Knicks and instead will be the next coach for the Golden State Warriors.
It was so tantalizing on many levels,” Kerr said. “Number one, Phil Jackson. Number two, the Knicks are a flagship franchise, one of the great franchises in the league. The last two weeks have been agonizing, in talking with Phil and (general manager) Steve Mills. They’ve got really good people there and I do think they’re going to get it turned around there. The Knicks could not have been better in giving me the space to make a decision, especially when I had a game to do every other night.”
“Ultimately, it was agonizing to say no to Phil because of what I think of him and what he’s done for my career,” said Kerr, who won three titles playing for Jackson in Chicago with the Bulls. “When Phil Jackson asks you to coach the Knicks, how do you say no? I think they’re going to turn it around, but going to be a big undertaking and it’s going to take time. The idea of doing that 3,000 miles from home, it just didn’t feel right.”
That said there is a gut feeling that unless the Knicks blew Kerr away with a unbelievable contract he didn’t want to come east. It is also possible he had heard about the rumblings about Mark Jackson before Jackson was fired from Golden State so he might have played coy for good reason. With Stan Van Gundy being hired by the Detroit Pistons and given authority as Head of Basketball operations it might have also helped Steve Kerr’s position that the Knick job wasn’t the only job out there. Also while Kerr didn’t use money as the reason for the decision don’t forget two things one…his agent is Mike Tannebaum former General manager of the New York Jets. Tannebaum has insight in to areas maybe Kerr didn’t give pause to like the heavy undertaking of reshaping the capped out Knicks or even dealing with the New york media on a day to day basis. Two,Golden State was wiling to pay for someone who hasn’t coached at any level before now. They already has success until recently with Mark Jackson and was willing to go 5 years while the Knicks only went 4. So when someone says it isn’t about the money … money does play a large part of any move.
As to whether Kerr made the right choice or not remains to be seen, but where does that leave Phil Jackson and the Knicks? there are other coaching options,like Mark Jackson, Jerry Sloan who is itching to get back into coaching, if the Knicks wantr to be creative they could try to get Tom Thibodeau, don’t forget the Warriors asked for permission to speak to Thibodeau, so maybe he could be looked at by the Knicks.
I tend to believe the Knick job is better than what most believe it is. A premire franchise with and Owner who while misguided wants to win and win badly(Think of George Steinbrenner in his hayday with the Yankees before he finally got it right) plus if you win in New York you will be long remembered fondly( Mike Keenan for Rangers fans) (Davey Johnson for Mets fans). Next season, the Knicks will have money to spend with Amare and Andrea Bargnani coming off the books. They do have to sign Carmelo Anthony even for this 2014-15 season to be tolerable but in the short term it is workable.
Now we will see what Phil Jackson will be able to do next to fill the coaching vaccancy, as for now though it looks like a setback for jackson and the Knicks.