To nobody's shock Phil Jackson has already began trying to bring Steve Kerr in to replace Mike Woodson as New York Knicks head coach. After all, Kerr has always been considered the favorite for the job even before Woodson was let go. Jackson has already met with Kerr twice to discuss the position.
It's no secret that Steve Kerr wants to be a head coach in the NBA. It's also not a secret that he'd prefer to do so on the west coast. That's why many have felt Kerr will wait to see what happens with the head coaching positions of the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors before accepting any job with the New York Knicks.
That hasn't stopped Phil Jackson, Kerr's former coach, from courting Kerr as his top choice to replace Mike Woodson. Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork reports Jackson has met with Kerr twice thus far hoping to hire him as the next head coach of the New York Knicks.
Kerr said he had dinner with Jackson on Friday for a few hours and also talked with him on Saturday.
"We will keep talking," said Kerr, a TNT analyst who was in Brooklyn to work Game 4 of the playoff series between the Nets and Toronto Raptors. "There is a lot to cover on both sides. This was the first time we've talked about the job. It just opened up last week. We got a lot of things to discuss."
"I know Phil [said] we shared the same space, which I think is well said," Kerr said when asked if he has to employ the triangle offense if he coaches the Knicks. "We share a lot of the same philosophies. I learned a lot of my basketball from him and Tex Winter.
"It is safe to say that we have a lot of the same ideas. As far as getting into the details of the triangle and that sort of thing, I am not going to expand on that. Obviously there is a strong connection between us and our beliefs."
Kerr said the Knicks likely wouldn't be interested in him if it weren't for his connection to Jackson. In the meantime, Kerr and Jackson will continue to talk and try to answer as many questions as they can about a potential reunion.
"There is just a lot to cover on both sides," Kerr said when asked about his thoughts on Jackson as a first-time executive. "He's got to ask me a lot of questions, I got to ask him a lot. And there is a lot of research that goes into this. It's a big job, it's important that on both sides that we cover all of our bases."
There's a few ways to look at this. The first is, Kerr must not be sold on the idea of coaching in New York because Jackson is having to convince him on working for James Dolan. If that's the case, do the Knicks really want to hire someone who doesn't want to be here?
The other way to look at it is that Jackson is doing his due diligence and so is Kerr. Neither want to jump into the wrong situation or harm their friendship. If that's the case, good for them. This is no small decision for either man.
For two old friends talking a few hours over dinner is very easy to do. Then there's discussing the Knicks culture, how former coaches were treated, how the Knicks will be run now that Jackson's in charge, what kind of players they'll be looking for, game philosophies, assistant coaching possibilities and more.
Quite frankly, a first time president and first time head coaching candidate should be covering all of their bases. Another major one is keeping business-business and friendship-friendship. Unfortunately, when the two are mixed often feelings are hurt and relationships are never the same. Jackson and Kerr will hope to succeed together as business partners but remain friends if the business side doesn't work out. That takes planning and lots of luck.
The moral of the story is, it's good that Jackson and Kerr have met twice already. It shows that Jackson clearly wants Kerr to take the job and that Kerr is open to it. However, nobody should panic that they've met twice and no contract has been signed. It's early in the process and although things could pick up and move quickly there's plenty to be discussed before either side should want to jump into a union.
Let's just hope that the right decision is made by both parties when one is eventually made. This is not something to jump into quickly or light heartedly. For the lack of a better term, this is a marriage. Jackson should approach hiring his first coach very seriously, just as Kerr should do the same with accepting his first coaching job.
Are they right for each other? No one knows for sure. However, it's nice to see that neither is rushing into anything and that they're both making sure joining forces in New York is the right thing to do.
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