Mar 11, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
- Larry Brown
- George Karl
- Avery Johnson
- Byron Scott
But if Jackson becomes the New York Knicks’ president, another name has popped up for whom he’d hire as head coach.
Bill Simmons, speaking on television Sunday:
My guess would be Steve Kerr, because they’re close. Steve Kerr wants to get into coaching. He’s said publicly that this season would be the year.
Steve Kerr, I think, would be a great coach. He’s one of the only guys who’s spent a lot of time under Popovich and Phil Jackson.
Now, another reporter backs up that theory. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
If – that's if – Phil Jackson runs the Knicks don't rule out the team's next coach being…Steve Kerr.—
Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) March 11, 2014
This seems like more than a coincidence.
There’s no question Jackson knows Kerr well, coaching him for five seasons with the Chicago Bulls in 90s. But is a close relationship with Jackson enough to justify Kerr getting the Knicks head-coaching job?
Kerr spent three seasons as the Phoenix Suns’ general manager, and he seems to possess a bright basketball mind. However, he has no coaching experience, and there questions remain whether he has the temperament for the position.
One advantage the Knicks should have is James Dolan’s deep pockets. Unlike spending money on players, which can restrict the team due to salary-cap rules, offering a big contract to a coach carries no additional cost beyond his salary. The Knicks should have an extremely high budget for coaches.
If Jackson takes the job, and he believes Kerr is the best option money can buy, the Knicks should hire Kerr. But if money is no object, wouldn’t a proven commodity like Karl be a better option for the Knicks?
Kerr strikes me as the type of coaching talent a lesser team should have to take a chance on first. Jackson and the Knicks could always poach him with a large offer later if he proves himself.
But first, Jackson would have to accept the presidency, which hardly seems like a given.
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