New York miss out on coach Kerr, signs with Golden State Warriors

Steve Kerr

With Kerr signing with the Warriors, who’s next on Phil Jackson and the Knicks’ radars?

In shock news this week, former player Steve Kerr signed a five-year, $25 million contract to coach the Golden State Warriors, turning down an offer from New York Knicks’ president Phil Jackson.

He had been touted as the favourite candidate for the Knicks coaching position due to his close relationship with his former coach, Jackson, and many thought the deal was already done, then this Wednesday it was announced that he made the decision to coach the Warriors.

Kerr, who has never coached in the NBA, had his profile boosted by the Knicks’ interest in him and became a favourite coaching candidate for many teams around the league. But the Knicks only offered Kerr a four-year contract at $20 million, one year shorter than the Warriors’ offer.

Why else did Kerr turn down coaching in the Big Apple? Other factors may be the unsure status of Knicks’ superstar Carmelo Anthony, who has the opportunity to turn down his contract and leave the Knicks for another team – and after New York’s poor season and failure to make the playoffs, he may jump ship.

The Warriors, on the other hand, are an exciting team with a dynamic roster – look to the thrilling and competitive seven-game series against the Clippers as evidence. Kerr also stated that the close proximity with his family also weighed in on the decision.

Phil Jackson

Who else can fill the Knicks coaching role for Jackson?

So where does that leave newly appointed president Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks?

It’s likely that Jackson will be looking for another young, possibly inexperienced coach that he can mould with his trademark triangle offence. He may look to hire another former player of his who is already used to his system.

Names being mentioned include current player for the Oklahoma City Thunder, 39-year-old Derek Fisher. Fisher played under Phil Jackson during the Laker’s championship years, and if he chooses to retire at the end of the season, the well-respected Fisher may be offered the job. It’s not that far-fetched when compared with the Brooklyn Net’s decision to hire Jason Kidd straight after retiring.

Other names circulating are current Los Angeles Clippers assistant, Tyronn Lue, another former player of Jackson’s, and Kurt Rambis, a former assistant of Jackson’s. Some fans are even calling for Jackson to return to coaching, as well as being president of Knicks basketball, but that seems highly unlikely.

Whether the Knicks missed out on a great coach in Kerr is yet to be seen, and in the highly-competitive Western Conference, he’ll be scrutinised closely. But there’s arguably more pressure on Phil Jackson to turn the Knicks around, after he signed the high-profile five-year, $60 million contract to become the Knicks’ president.

He’s a proven winner as a coach. We’ll see how he is as an executive.

Simon Burr is a die hard NBA enthusiast who's been following basketball as long as he can remember. Born too short to ever dunk a ball, he settles with the world of basketball punditry.

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