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Steve Kerr has options, but is reportedly focused only on Knicks, Warriors

May 7, 2014, 6:56 PM EDT

Steve Kerr Steve Kerr

For a guy who hasn’t coached one game (or even been an assistant coach for one game), for a guy who’s first basketball decision as a GM was to look at a Mike D’Antoni squad and say “what this team needs is a plodding, out-of-shape Shaq,” Steve Kerr certainly is drawing a lot of interest now that he has made it clear he wants to be a head coach.

Kerr’s name has come up in rumors and reports with just about every NBA head coaching job that is available right now (maybe not Detroit, but everywhere else). He’s a guy well liked in NBA circles, which helps his appeal.

However he is focused on just two of those gigs — the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors — reports Howard Beck at Bleacher Report. And there are reasons he would want to go to both.

Although multiple teams have reached out to Kerr, NBA sources say he is focused strictly on the Warriors and the Knicks, each with a unique set of pros and cons.

The allure of working for Phil Jackson, Kerr’s longtime friend and mentor, is strong, according to associates of both men. Kerr knows he has much to learn, and having Jackson nearby would be a huge comfort. The New York stage is always a draw.

But if Kerr wants to contend immediately, the Warriors offer a much better opportunity—a roster that just won 51 games, and a backcourt tandem (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson) that ranks among the NBA’s best. The Warriors are young, talented and brimming with potential.

Kerr is going to have a learning curve wherever he lands (Beck does a good job laying out how teams are okay with that now, they want natural leaders and fell they can surround those people with the right support). Kerr needs to have a strong Xs and Os guy next to him on the bench (how much did Mark Jackson miss Mike Malone this season?). He’s got to have room to make mistakes and learn what he can do that works, learn how to build a team.

With the Knicks, the pressure is New York and essentially building a culture from scratch (so long as James Dolan lets them). That’s what Phil Jackson was hired to do, Kerr would be his extension on the court. Kerr would have time to learn because the Knicks are not going to be very good next year (better, good enough to get into the playoffs in the East, but not great).

The Warriors are close to family but the pressure there is a very active, hands-on ownership group that expects results yesterday. The job there is to win now, there is no time for a learning curve, and by the way you have to step into a locker room and replace a coach that was very popular with the players.

Most people around the league still expect him to land in New York.

It looks like Kerr will land one of those jobs, and the reports are he wants to make his decision relatively quickly. Maybe by the end of the week.

  1. thevikesarebest - May 7, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    If you want to coach a college team again,then go to the Knicks.if you wanna coach a high school team,the lakers are still looking for a coach.

    • kb2408 - May 7, 2014 at 10:44 PM

      That was hilarious…I bet you spent all day coming up with that “zinger.”

  2. jattsoorma - May 7, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    what big time athlete is going to listen too and respect steve kerr

  3. muathjam21 - May 7, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    How is Kerr even thinking about this?

    1. Bay Area vs. New York. Obviously New York is the biggest market in the country, but the Bay isn’t too far behind, and he’ll get to stay in beautiful, warm California instead of moving across country.

    2. Joe Lacob vs. James Dolan. A new and ambitious ownership group vs an old and tired owner that many portray as one of the worst owners in the sport.

    3. Talent. The Warriors roster is full of talent that’s not only ready to compete now, but still has a bunch of young guys that are still growing. Curry is 26, Thompson is 24, Green is 24, and Barnes is 21. The only intriguing piece the Knicks have is Carmelo Anthony, and it’s not a forgone conclusion that he’s gonna stay in the Big Apple.

    4. Future – both on and off the court. I already mentioned the young players, but the Warriors are set to build a state of the art arena in San Francisco within the next few years, and have an outstanding, supportive fan base.

    The only card that New York has is Phil Jackson, and admittedly it’s a good one. Kerr is extremely close to Jackson, looks up to him, and can easily go to him whenever he needs some coaching help. There is no Phil Jackson in Oakland.

    • antistratfordian - May 7, 2014 at 7:57 PM

      Yeah, but the Warriors potential is kind of held hostage by its roster’s jump shooting bias. There is only so much you can do with a team like that.

      • muathjam21 - May 7, 2014 at 8:29 PM

        Maybe – but Klay Thompson and shown more and more inclination to drive the ball. And when you have one of the best shooting back courts in history, sometimes it’s best to let them play their game.

      • antistratfordian - May 7, 2014 at 8:54 PM

        Yeah, I don’t know if it’s best to ever let them play their game. Who was the previous best shooting backcourt? Steve Nash and Raja Bell?

        Thanks, but no thanks. I’d rather play championship basketball than have one of the best shooting backcourts in history.

  4. antistratfordian - May 7, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    When did Kerr turn into Dean Smith? I really don’t care where he ends up. I have low expectations.

  5. ravenswhat - May 7, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    The extreme interest in Kerr is just bizarre.

    • kinggw - May 7, 2014 at 8:24 PM

      I would go with asinine, but bizarre works too.

  6. cantonb0und13 - May 7, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    He’s going to New York

    • jimeejohnson - May 7, 2014 at 8:35 PM

      Loserland and home of the REAL CantonPeaBrain!

  7. csbanter - May 7, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    Steve Kerr fatigue is spreading from New York to Cali.

  8. rrhoe - May 7, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    I am not understanding what is all the buzz regarding this guy,and what is it based on????? Plz feel free to fill in the blanks people……

    • jollyjoker2 - May 7, 2014 at 9:50 PM

      he has 100 lbs of horse manure packed into a 10 lb bag I guess. I don’t see it either.

  9. campcouch - May 7, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Jeff or Stan Van Gundy would be better hires.

  10. kb2408 - May 7, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    He will probably go to NY…but he should go to G. State.

  11. seattlesuperchronic - May 7, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    By the looks of that picture, it looks like Steve Kerr should go to the Bay Area. I know money is no issue for Kerr, but in New York a zip costs over $400, you gotta be a straight up sucker to pay that much, even if you’re rich.

  12. phillyfan11 - May 7, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    Can we please stop using that picture of Steve Kerr?

  13. batoujitsu - May 8, 2014 at 2:23 AM

    If I was steve kerr, I would wait to see what will happen to the thunder and scott brooks at the end if the season.

    The thunder are one good coach away from a potential dynasty

    • stayhigh_247 - May 8, 2014 at 7:37 AM

      to your point though, I would rather see Kevin Ollie get a shot, especially since he played there and has relationships with the players, but I don’t see management dumping Scott Brooks just yet.

  14. AZ Dem - May 8, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    The O’Neal trade made perfect sense. Both he and Suns’ owner Bob Sarver realized that the window of winning a championship was closing fast. Nash was in visible pain all the time. Marion was getting older and was past his prime. And Amare’s knees were always in question. Plus, Sarver desperately needed the money that championship would bring. (He had suffered some big time hits in regards to his private investment portfolio.)

    To get to the finals, PHX had to get through San Antone and Tim Duncan. PHX didn’t have anybody who could guard Duncan. So, enter O’Neal. And O’Neal brought it. He had a very good series defensively. He was a monster. That was probably the most difficult series Duncan ever had to play. Shaq was all over him and Duncan had a hard time getting his shot off. Eventually, Duncan decided to become more of a jump shooter in that series, PHX outplayed SA in that series, but SA never lost their composure and they just waited for the ball to bounce their way. And they were ready when it did. That was the closet the Nash Suns got to a championship. And they need Shaq to get there.

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