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Phoenix Suns Keeping Steve Kerr from Joining New York Knicks

May 12th, 2014 at 6:20 PM
By Matt Agne

It's clear the New York Knicks intend on naming Steve Kerr their next head coach. Besides having to agree on a contract, Kerr wants to fulfill the duties of his TNT contact. Once his job is done for the playoffs he'll be able to move on. However, it's his partial ownership of the Phoenix Suns that could be the biggest speed bump in Kerr joining the Knicks.

'2013 Phoenix Suns 2' photo (c) 2013, Michael Tipton - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Steve Kerr is the person Phil Jackson wants to coach the New York Knicks. That much we know. What we don't know is what kind of coach he'll be. Most think he'll be very good on the bench but with no experience there's no way to fairly judge or form expectations.

What is known is that Kerr is a man with plenty of basketball experience, on and off the court. He is also a guy who clearly cares about doing the right thing and fulfilling the his promises. 

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that it's that character that has kept Kerr working as a TNT analyst instead of leaving his post to take on the challenge of coaching the Knicks.

Regarding his decision to stick with TNT to the bitter end, Kerr stated in an email: “It’s the right thing to do, and I want to do it. I am under contract to do so, and I will finish up my work before moving on.’’

Clearly, Kerr has strong connections to TNT. However, his duties will be fulfilled soon enough. Another thing Kerr is closely connected with is the Phoenix Suns franchise. Most know he's a former general manager of the team. However, did you know he's a minority owner of the team?

'2013 Phoenix Suns 1' photo (c) 2013, Michael Tipton - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports Kerr still owns part of the Phoenix Suns.

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, whom Sarver bought for $401 million.

“We’re partners,’’ Sarver told The Post. “A modest partner. But he helped me originally buy the franchise [in 2004] and was the individual who introduced me to David Stern and the NBA and helped me negotiate the deal.’’

At this point, it's not a question if Kerr will coach next season. However, where he'll coach is another question all together. Obviously the Knicks are one of the teams in the running for Kerr's services. However, the Golden State Warriors will also make a run at signing Kerr as well.

That being said, the Knicks are still considered the front runners to make Kerr their next coach. Wherever he shows up, Kerr will need to sell his small percentage of the Suns. The NBA will give him a reasonable amount of time to get that done. It's a small hurdle, but it's a hurdle. It's just another thing holding Kerr back from joining the Knicks.

'2013 Phoenix Suns 5' photo (c) 2013, Michael Tipton - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Tags: Basketball, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, Phil Jackson, Phoenix Suns, Steve Kerr

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