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What’s in the way of Steve Kerr coaching the Knicks? The Phoenix Suns

May 12, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT

Phoenix Suns v. New Orleans Hornets Getty Images

Steve Kerr’s ties to the Phoenix Suns run deep – so deep they’ll complicate him becoming the Knicks’ (or Warriors’ or Jazz’s) coach.

Kerr helped Robert Sarver buy the Suns in 2004 and then served as Phoenix’s general manager between 2007 and 2010. Somewhere along the way, he acquired a stake in the team, which he still holds.

Obviously, a Suns owner coaching the Knicks would be a conflict of interest.

Marc Berman of the New York Post:

The Post has learned Kerr still owns a tiny piece of the Suns — believed to be less than 1 percent — which he will have to divest. The NBA will grant him an allotted amount of time to sell his piece.

Phoenix owner Robert Sarver — like Kerr, a University of Arizona alum — confirmed Kerr still has financial interest in the Suns

The question with Kerr is where he’ll coach, not if he’ll coach. Therefore, he’s had plenty of time to find a buyer and could even have one already lined up.

I don’t anticipate this being a problem, though it’s at least possible. I just found that to be an interesting hurdle Kerr must clear.

  1. adoombray - May 12, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    The Next Great New York Knicks disaster. There is no reason to believe Phil Jackson is a capable talent evaluator since he was always handed his players. There is no reason to believe Kerr will be a good coach because he was terrible at everything else NBA related he does that wasn’t his playing days. This Kerr thing built up it’s own momentum and good luck having a former shoot first SG tell Carmelo Anthony to play like a team player…

    • musician0785 - May 12, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      The year after Rudy T resigned from the lakers they didnt make the playoffs, the roster was essentially Kobe Bryant and a bunch of bums (vujacic, radmanovic, medvedenko, brian cook, jumain jones, chucky atkins, kwame brown, chris mihm, and odom) the next year with that same team playoffs…..in 2 years with one addition (gasol) they were in the finals….ppl often overlook this like phil and jordan/pippen Kobe/shaq his entire tenure

    • sportsfan18 - May 12, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      I don’t know if Kerr will be any good or whether Jackson will evaluate talent well or not either…

      BUT, at some point EVERY coach was coaching for the FIRST time…

      EVERY G.M. was a G.M. for the FIRST time…

      a scout etc…

      Just BECAUSE they are new to their role does NOT mean they won’t or can’t do well… just as it doesn’t mean they will do well either.

      A lot of people are not good at many things they do in life and then they finally get in a role and do well in it. So what if Kerr didn’t do well in other roles, he is NOT being asked to do THOSE roles THIS time.

      Again, I don’t know if he will or won’t do well, but you gotta have better reasoning than you provided for why they won’t than you provided…

      • cruzan80 - May 12, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        “at some point EVERY coach was coaching for the FIRST time…”

        True…that logic however does not apply to GOOD coaches.

        Most SUCCESSFUL coaches had prior coaching experience before taking the head job. Pat Riley, Gregg Popovich, Rick Carlisle, Rudy Tomjanovich, Larry Brown, Erik Spoelstra all spent years as assistant coaches before taking head coaching jobs in the NBA. Phil Jackson was never an assistant in the NBA but he coached in the CBA for years before becoming the Bulls head coach.

        In the case of Jason Kidd. He took over a veteran laden team who don’t need to be “coached”. Those guys already know what do to on & off the court. There’s little to nothing Kidd could teach the likes of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams or Joe Johnson. We’ll see just how good of a coach Kidd is when he gets stuck with a team that looks like the Kings, Bucks or Magic.

        Based off history…nobody should be excited about Steve Kerr becoming the head coach of their favorite team. If Kerr actually turns out to be a successfull head coach in the NBA…that would be a 1st.

      • imakcds - May 12, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        so as a First time Coach, and using all your reasoning, which is legitimate, is he worth the $5-6 Million a year he’s asking for?

      • sportsfan18 - May 12, 2014 at 5:48 PM

        To me, no, he is not worth that amount of money as a first year coach.

        It has less to do with an exact amount, but rather where that would place him on the list of what coaches make right now.

        Pop down in San Antonio makes $6 million a season and he is without question, to me, the best coach in the NBA.

        Rick Adelman is retiring, but he made $5 million.

        Doc Rivers is getting $7 million and part of that is for personnel decisions too. I think Doc is a good coach, but a bit overrated and should not be getting more than Pop, in my opinion.

        I don’t think Kerr or any other first year coach should come in and be near the very top of the coaching pay scale.

        If the top coaches were making $10 to $12 million and many others were making $7 to $8 million, then $5 to $6 million for Kerr would be fine.

        It’s not the amount alone, but where the amount places Kerr that I don’t like.

  2. teabone413 - May 12, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    this is idiotic. to be a good coach (great in phil’s case) you have to be able to evaluate the talent you have so you know wth to do with them. who does what well, who to sub in here or there, it takes a lot to know what to do. how many coaches have made the wrong moves during games only to come up short.

    • sportsfan18 - May 12, 2014 at 5:51 PM

      There are more types of evaluating talent than you listed. What you listed is correct. With players currently on the team, the coach has to know what they can and can’t do and which lineups are best, best to counteract what the opposition has on the floor etc…

      But, Phil will now need to evaluate 18 yr old college freshman and overseas players too…

      Not just those he watches play night in and night out and coaches in practice…

  3. onlyavoice - May 12, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Phil Jackson is on his way to turning the Knicks into a laughing stock lottery team.
    Jackson signed with the Knicks to appease his over inflated ego & because the Lakers
    did not want anything to do with him.
    Melo has his bags packed & I don’t blame him. He see’s Jackson signing a washed up crack head
    & now Doogie Howser (AKA Steve Kerr).
    Run Melo, take considerably less, take less with a team that builds to compete & win.

    • imakcds - May 12, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      People hold Jackson up on a pedestal, because of the rings, but I actually think his smarmy behind the scenes behavior is what led to the Lakers’ current pathetic state. Jeannie DIDN’T marry him because the Buss family made her realize all he wanted was the Lakers, she was his vessel to ownership.
      The Greatest Laker of all time, Jerry West packed up a long time ago, and that is most significant. And Sad. I will never forgive Jackson for that.

      • fanofthegame79 - May 12, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        That’s an interesting perspective, especially the reason as to why Jeannie hasn’t married Jackson yet. I wonder if there’s any validity to that?

      • JHathwell - May 12, 2014 at 5:14 PM

        They are engaged, brother.

        Nice, anti-intelligent troll post, though. Good work.

    • mytthor - May 12, 2014 at 9:01 PM

      On his way? What exactly are the Knicks now?

  4. bruiserbrigade - May 12, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    Go Suns!

  5. drs76109 - May 12, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Jackson oughta just coach the Knicks, and delegate a lot of empowerment to strong assistants.

    Or quit. The Lakers really should’ve hired him.

  6. cueghost - May 12, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    The deal is done. Phil is just waiting for the bright lights of The Finals to announce it…

  7. marcusfitzhugh - May 12, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    News flash: Phil was hired because he’s a winner. If the winner says hire Steve Kerr, then hire Steve Kerr. As for these comments about his salary, does anyone really lay awake at night wondering what James Dolan pays for a coach? Really? You might as well tell me what Dolan paid for his last pair of shoes. What’s next, how much Dolan’s home cost? His cars? His electric bill? Knick fans care about winning. The rest is just small town noise.

  8. mogogo1 - May 13, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    I understand Kerr wanting to be fairly compensated, but his demands are awfully high for a first-time coach. And being he’s the hand-picked guy, I would have expected him to be A LOT more excited to be working with Phil Jackson than this. Instead, he’s entertained other offers. Might Phil and the Knicks resent that? Has Kerr given any thought to that possibility?

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