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Report: Phil Jackson had Steve Kerr pegged as Seattle’s coach, to pursue him for Knicks

Mar 18, 2014, 7:49 PM EDT

Virginia v Maryland

When a Chris Hansen-led group was negotiating to buy the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle last year, Phil Jackson was in the running for a front-office job.

The sale/move fell through, so we’ll never know with total certainty whether Hansen would have hired Jackson. But Jackson was confident enough he’d get the position to at least get a coach in place.

By the way, that same candidate is still available now that Jackson is running the Knicks.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

They’re going to implement a system here – the triangle offense – and Jackson plans to pursue Steve Kerr to come coach the Knicks. Jackson had convinced Kerr to come to Seattle as his coach, league sources told Yahoo Sports, only to have those plans foiled when a purchase agreement with the Sacramento Kings fell apart.

If I were betting, Kerr – whose name has already been attached to the Knicks’ job, has expressed interest in coaching and has remained close with Jackson – will coach the Knicks next season. That’s obviously far from a guarantee, but there’s just too much smoke here to ignore.

In his introductory press conference today, Jackson didn’t say anything bad about Mike Woodson directly. But Jackson wasn’t overly praiseworthy, either. Woodson probably couldn’t survive this awful season anyway, but a change in management certainly won’t help his cause.

Like nearly any new team president, Jackson will want to hire his own coach. Increasingly, it seems that will be Kerr.

  1. csbanter - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    It’s going to be a weird sight to see the Knicks play a fundamental brand of basketball. Will Carmelo “really buy into this”. Can he handle his scoring and iso plays going down ? Steve Kerr will do ok because he unlike Woodson will have a boss that has his back.

    Say so long to misfit basketballl at the World’s Most Famous.

    • antistratfordian - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:03 AM

      Melo’s scoring and iso plays will probably go down as much as Jordan’s and Kobe’s did…

  2. jkaflagg - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    Have heard a lot of conversation that the new Knicks coach would not necessarily be required to run the triangle offense; these people surely know very little about Phil Jackson. His coach will unquestionably be a triangle/Phil believer, and players who don’t buy in or fit in will be replaced. Phil is all about control and players fitting into his system; the idea that he’ll change just because certain players on the hapless Knick roster don’t fit is silly. They’ll conform or he’ll find a way to replace him.

    Heard an interview with Ron Artest today and it was interesting that he said “Phil will make players do this” and “Phil will make players do that”….as if he he were actually the coach rather than the GM. But make no mistake, the coach (whether Kerr or Brian Shaw) will definitely channel the Phil program….exactly as Knick ownership hopes.

    • antistratfordian - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:02 AM

      You know, Phil is actually more pliable than that. He isn’t going to force a group into a system if the group doesn’t fit.

      • unxpexted1 - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:52 AM

        you’re right, he’s just going to get a group that does.

      • antistratfordian - Mar 19, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        He will eventually, but until then…

  3. ericreives - Mar 18, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    Melo will love the triangle offense. Its a great brand of offensive basketball that maximizes the talent on the roster. This team is incapable of being an uptempo team because of their personnel, which likely doesn’t change next year. Melo will be fine. The other cast of characters on the perimeter have many question marks. Smith? Felton? Yikes. Hardaway will be fine. Ditto for Prigioni and Shumpert.

    • bkbell3 - Mar 19, 2014 at 4:57 AM

      The triangle is a joke. Every system on the court is started by forming a triangle with a guard,wing and a post man. The only way it worked is having 4 of the top 20 all time players surrounded by great roll players. Chi nor lakers ran it very much or if they did they seldom ran it past the first 2 options. Fast break,no tri.kobe,jordon- jumper,drive and shoot or kick,no tri. throw into shaq for turn-round jumpshot or drop step or jump hook or kick it to wing guy NO TRI. etc. No one has run it with success without those great players and reloading with great roll players every year. Phil never won or stuck around in the lean years to prove his system and coaching is more than having loaded teams with all time great players that could have won for POP or other coaches and systems.Without shooters and great one on one players to score when the triangle breaks down or the shot clock gets down it’s been proven it’s not the system.

      • blueintown - Mar 19, 2014 at 7:29 AM

        So you’re contending that elite players make a system work better? MIND BLOWN.

      • ryanrockzzz - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:06 AM

        The Triangle is a system designed to allow you to win with role palyers if run correctly. It allows for better spacing on the court and more open looks for your pure shooters. The Triangle offense is more about just forming an initial triangle with three players. The passing lanes the system produces are also effective and different from other offenses.

      • bkbell3 - Mar 19, 2014 at 9:04 AM

        Reading comprehension is tough for many.Lakers and knicks were my team and so was jorden’s bulls. My point which was clearly stated is that the triangle was rarely run past it’s first 2 options if that and it’s not new and phil had loaded teams that would have been successful in any system when so many people think the system is the reason and anyone can run it and be successful. Again it’s been run by others like in Minnesota and was a complete flop.

      • mackcarrington - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        So when Jackson won in the CBA he had “loaded” teams?

    • unxpexted1 - Mar 19, 2014 at 8:54 AM

      Eric, I agree. People make it seem like Melo is going to stop getting his points. It’s not that Melo is going to have to be a 17 PPG a game person, just changing the way he does it. The triangle is at its best when you have an elite iso player that can score when the shot clock goes down.

  4. sportsnut101 - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    So rookie coach kerr gonna lead them I doubt that

  5. valman61 - Mar 18, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    Its a shame to see Woodson lose his job, hes a good coach. Was just put in a bad situation with a hapless franchise. And im a die hard knicks fan. Hope to see him land somewhere in the league soon.

  6. meatcarroll - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    It’s a crying shame that slimy rat David Stern did everything in his power to make sure that Seattle sale didn’t go through. That was a golden opportunity that won’t come around again.

    • trickybastard - Mar 19, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      Awww sniffle sniffle. Well you can still watch the Oklahoma Thunder.

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