Knicks Finalizing a Deal to Hire Steve Kerr

According to a new report today from ESPN’s NBA insider Marc Stein the New York Knicks are finalizing a deal to hire former Phoenix Suns General Manager and television analyst Steve Kerr to be their next head coach. The deal won’t reportedly be finalized until after the first round of the playoffs, but hey, progress!

Earlier in the month, I wrote about how the Knicks have handled their head coaching situation in what can only be described as in a head-scratching way. Phil has clearly wanted Kerr all along, and he reportedly got his man before others could. That’s the most important takeaway out of this, I think, because the Knicks weren’t going to be the only ones courting Kerr this summer.

It’s been reported by a number of insiders and analysts that Kerr was going to be a hot commodity this offseason for potential head coaching vacancies. Golden State, Houston and Oklahoma City were all potentially in play for Kerr if things went sour for any of these clubs in the first round. As of right now, the three teams are all in grave danger of getting ousted in the first round. All of these potential destinations are better jobs than the Knicks, but perhaps Phil sprinkled some zen herbs into Kerr’s latte over dinner in Brooklyn this past weekend to convince him to take the Knicks job before those other teams started pounding at his door.

We don’t know what kind of head coach Kerr is going to be, but we do know Phil has potentially snagged the hottest potential head coaching commodity before anybody else could. Now comes the hardest part — fixing the Knicks’ roster.

Let’s hope Phil is saving his best trick the best for last.


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Chase Thomas

Chase Thomas is new to KnickerBlogger but has written about the Knicks for years now. Was in attendance for Nate Robinson's 41 point night versus the Hawks. Successfully annoyed Allan Houston's assistant for talking his ear off while sitting next to him at a Knicks game 3 years ago. Follow him on twitter:

32 thoughts to “Knicks Finalizing a Deal to Hire Steve Kerr”

  1. Other teams are obviously more talented than the Knicks, but I think most Knicks fans understand we’re not going to be good next year. So do a rookie coach that might be attractive, and Kerr knows he’ll have a great mentor he has a long relationship with upstairs. I’m cautiously optimistic about the hire. I even liked what Kerr said about preferring to play 2 bigs, as long as he understands one of them should not be Bargnani. Generally, in basketball, bigger is better.

  2. According to Marc Stein of ESPN, “The New York Knicks are trying to complete a deal with TNT’s Steve Kerr that would install him as their new coach after the first round of the playoffs”

    Right, so ACTUALLY what was reported is that they’re ***trying*** to complete a deal — which actually means nothing — and not that they are finalizing a deal, which would imply that they’re drawing up a contract / getting down to brass tacks.

    There are three major reasons why the Knicks job could be “better than” OKC or GS or HOU…

    1. New York is awesome.
    2. Phil Jackson as mentor.
    3. Lower expectations (whether Melo walks or otherwise).

    I mean, I hope it happens but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves!

  3. Reason #4: Freedom to install the Triple Post. If Kerr believes in the Triangle, this is the only place where he can be certain of full support.

  4. I love this hire if it happens even though I am not necessarily a fan of the triangle.

    What this organization needs is winning high basketball IQ people in charge from top to bottom and mature, emotionally stable, high character, high basketball IQ players on the court. Kerr would make us 2 for 2 at the top. IMHO that increases the probability we will head back in the direction of Walsh/D’Antoni where we are also concerned about the character, emotional stability, basketball IQ, and chemistry of the players when making personnel decisions (until it was hijacked away by Dolan and CAA).

  5. I’m starting to warm more and more to the idea of Kerr. Also, I find it outrageous that GS would be even considering moving Jackson after a 51 win season. That just seems silly in my mind, but I’m also not involved in that organisation so what would I know.

    My only issue in going to hard for Kerr is whether we are being somewhat short-sighted not considering other candidates. Again I’m not sure whether Phil has been talking to anyone else, but it seems he’s firmly set on Kerr and I wonder whether that kind of tunnel vision has meant that he’s overlooked some other good fits for the job. However I digress; I wouldn’t hate Kerr on the sidelines, especially if he and Phil are going to be on the same page as far as game plan goes.

  6. There is a very real possibility that the Eastern Conference Finals will have either Atlanta or Washington in it this year. If you had told me that at the start of the year I’d have said that’s about as likely as the Knicks only winning 37 games and missing the playoffs entirely in an historically bad conference. This first round man…wow. I’m really glad I decided to take the week off for other reasons, which has allowed me to actually stay up to watch these incredible games.

  7. Donnie should have hired Mark Jackson in 2008. It made no sense to hire a coach with a specific system (D’Antoni), and then goin search of the proper players. The Knicks were retooling, and had a 2 year window to figure it out, and it was the perfect time to hire a rookie coach and let him learn on the job.

    The Knicks are, wisely, not making that mistake again. Kerr is a great hire.

  8. Beno Udrih ending up on Ibaka on the block after some switches. I’m getting PTSD watching this game.


    My mind reels at the craziness if the Warriors had walked off.

    1. Would the Clippers have followed them or accepted the forfeit? Can’t imagine the damage to Coach Rivers, Chris Paul and the rest of the roster if they accepted that victory.

    2. Would there have been a riot? 18,000 fans, bitter and confused.

    3. What sanctions would have been imposed on the Warriors?

    Kevin Johnson saved the NBA a MAJOR problem by heading the Warriors off on Sunday. His explanation that a boycott only made sense if the issue was not getting enough attention, dealt with quickly or effectively bought the NBA two days for decisive action.

  10. First, David Aldridge reported that the Clippers would have joined the Warriors in walking off.

    Second, there is no chance that Felton would have stopped Conley (or Knight or Jennings or Jack or Wall or any other quick PG).

  11. I dont think Felton wouldve made the play Westbrook just did lol.

    No, but he’d have made the play Conley did.

  12. The last time a Knicks PG made a huge steal late in a playoff game was Derek Harper in Game 6 of the 1994 East Finals lol.

  13. So will KD get the same criticism LeBron used to get?? Or will it still be Westbrook’s fault the Thunder lost??

  14. So will KD get the same criticism LeBron used to get?? Or will it still be Westbrook’s fault the Thunder lost??

    Clearly, Joey Crawford was to blame.

    Not really.

    That tip in though was like 0.1 seconds off. Unbelievable. If Indiana, San Antonio, and OKC all get bumped in the first round, I’ll eat my hat. I don’t even wear a hat, but I’ll go get one just to eat it.

  15. I have faith in the Spurs. And OKC can win 2 in a row against anybody, anywhere. Pacers are in huge trouble, though.

  16. Spurs will be fine. Spurs-Heat Finals rematch looking more and more inevitable by the day.

  17. The Clippers struggling with this Warriors team without Bogut makes me question their credentials as a legitimate contender.

  18. So will KD get the same criticism LeBron used to get?? Or will it still be Westbrook’s fault the Thunder lost??

    Iam wondering the same thing. I think no because KD is beloved more than Lebron ever was in Cleveland. Hes “humble” hahahahahahahaaha

  19. Yeah KD gets the benefit of the doubt because you know Westbrook is to blame. Even though he was way better than Durant tonight and even though Durant has shot the ball horribly in this series.

  20. One thing I noticed and someone on Twitter mentioned it too was how Durant seemed to have given up on a few possessions when Allen was guarding the crap out of him. A few times he waved at Westbrook to go away from him as if he didnt even want to bother trying to score on Allen and once I remember KD trying to drive by Allen and he couldnt even get below the 3pt line and just gave it back to Westbrook who had to throw up a crazy shot with the shot clock winding down.

    LeBron used to get roasted for doing things like that before he started winning championships. But I assume KD will get a pass for the most part and the main focus will be on Westbrook shooting 10 for 31 even though he also had 10 rebs and 13 assts plus made the huge play on D to force overtime. KD shot 10 for 24 plus just 3 for 6 from ft line with 6 turnovers.

  21. One thing I noticed and someone on Twitter mentioned it too was how Durant seemed to have given up on a few possessions when Allen was guarding the crap out of him. A few times he waved at Westbrook to go away from him as if he didnt even want to bother trying to score on Allen and once I remember KD trying to drive by Allen and he couldnt even get below the 3pt line and just gave it back to Westbrook who had to throw up a crazy shot with the shot clock winding down

    Yes, even if you have to applaude the sheer effort of Tony Allen, tonight I saw shades of LeBron vs. Celtics in the 2010 spring in Durant attitude. Sadly, this is what happens when you give the reins to a rigid coach. Eventually, some players will grow tired of him and stop playing their hearts out. I mean, what the hell was doing Durant in the corner for 10+ possessions late in the game? How many coaches should go and take lessons from Carlisle?

  22. Just a very, very quick aside. I found in my mail (as I guess many of you) this thing:

    “Dear Fans,

    This afternoon I announced that, following the completion of a thorough investigation into an audio recording obtained by TMZ, I banned Donald Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers or the NBA, effective immediately. Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices, be present at any Clippers office or facility, or participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team. I also fined Mr. Sterling $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed under the NBA Constitution. These funds will be donated to charitable organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and its Players Association.

    The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and hurtful. I am extremely proud of this great league’s diverse, respectful and inclusive culture, and we will not allow one individual’s intolerant views to define us. Let me be clear: Mr. Sterling’s views have no place in the NBA.

    This has been a painful episode for all members of the NBA family. I very much appreciate your understanding during this process. I also want to express my thanks and admiration to Coach Doc Rivers, Chris Paul, and the entire Clippers organization for their professionalism throughout this matter, and to Chris and Mayor Kevin Johnson for their leadership and partnership on behalf of the Players Association.

    And now I am eager to turn the spotlight back where it belongs: on the game we all love and on these thrilling playoffs, which have been some of the most exciting basketball I’ve seen in my 22 years with the league. I hope you enjoy the rest of the playoffs and The Finals.


    Adam Silver”

    This wonderful guy is gunning for “most well-liked influential person in the world” award, and if not for Pope Francis, he’ll be running away with the silverware.

  23. Not to rain on the Adam Silver love fest, but while it was definitely the right decision, it wasn’t what I’d exactly call courageous. The only one pissed about it is Sterling himself, so Silver doesn’t really have to worry about getting any heat from any particular group or contingent in this case.

    So while I applaud Silver’s verdict and he handled it well, let’s not get carried away, it wasn’t that difficult a decision to make.

  24. The decision in itself was easy (I agree with the line of thought that many owners couldn’t wait to find a smoking gun to show on Sterling’s account, so it’s very possibile that Silver had full support in his decision since the first moment TMZ made that conversation public). The humble grace and (seemingly) honest contempt he showed in delivering the news, however, were a very nice change of pace from Stern.

  25. The NBA obviously has far more than its share of dickish coaches, but damn, this Mark Jackson stuff just sounds nuts. Having one of his assistant coach’s parking spot moved to make it a worse spot just to fuck with the guy? How insane is that?

  26. Ha! And to what extent? I don’t get it. Also, isn’t he the preaching, catholic (although… dong-picture sending) one? Since when “be annoying to your neighbor” is a catholic principle?

    Anyway, the thing that I really, really, really don’t understand about Jackson is his use of Hack-a-whomever-free-throw-bricker. Why in the hell does he abandon the tactic as soon as the hacked one goes 2 for 2 from the line? He should play the percentages, come on! This is just dumb.

  27. Mark Jackson is just an idiot. The other thing about Hack-A-Jordan is that he does it like twice late in the fourth quarter and if Jordan even goes 50% he abandons the strategy. The Warriors are completely undersized in the frontcourt unless they can get either Griffin or Jordan out of the game because of foul trouble or if Jordan can’t hit a free throw and is a complete liability. They need to do it earlier in the game and with greater frequency so that they can potentially force Doc’s hand to play Big Baby more minutes. His halfcourt offensive sets are really just pathetic as well.

  28. “but damn, this Mark Jackson stuff just sounds nuts. ”

    What the hell? Had no idea this was happening. And the guy who got fired immediately got hired by the celtics as their director of scouting.

    The Warriors have had a good year but I remain very happy Mark Jackson is not our coach. Which is hard to say given the Woodson fiasco, but having listened to him commentate for many years, I just can’t believe he could add value. He always sounded like the last person on earth who might incorporate analytics into his approach.

  29. Watching this Memphis team play really drives home how mentally soft of a team we were this year. Get crushed in Game 1 and blow a late lead in Game 2 on a Kevin Durant miracle 4 point play? No worries we’ll win Game 2 in OT and take Game 3 in OT as well. Blow home court in game 4 because Reggie Jackson goes off for 32 and then blow a 20 point lead in Game 5 on the road? No worries we’ll win it in OT. Really love how this Memphis team grinds every game.

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