Harris DeckerI’ve been trying to think about the Knicks coaching situation from psychological perspective over the past few days. To be fair, I have no background in the field, but in many cases it’s easy to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. This is one of those cases.
For Steve Kerr, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. He is likely leaving his career at TNT to take a head coaching position in the NBA. You’d imagine that he’s planning to hold this job for quite some time. Similar to free agents who make the most of their time in the sun, this is Kerr’s time to be courted, wined, dined and paraded around town. If you were Kerr, you’d be doing the exact same thing. At no other time in his life will he be coveted the way he is right at this moment.
So, now that the horse and pony show has begun, we get back to the mind of Kerr. Inside his brain, millions of scenarios are playing out. Could he win a title with the Knicks? Would he rather stay in California? Can Phil Jackson put a winning team around Kerr?
The real question in my mind is, could Kerr actually turn down an offer from Phil Jackson?
There will be no love lost between Kerr and Jackson over this situation. If Jackson were in the same position he’d be acting the same way. He’d carefully weigh his options and then make a decision. Kerr is doing just that and my question stands. Put yourself into the mind of Steve Kerr. You’ve been offered a job by a guy that took you to the promised land as a player and whom you’ve respected for a very long time. He’s now running the New York Knicks and is offering you the coaching job. Could you say no?
One thing that I don’t believe is getting enough attention is the power that Kerr would gain as head coach of the Knicks. On other teams there are general managers, presidents, owners and players to contend with. If Kerr were to come to New York, he’d be the number two basketball guy under Jackson. It’s been made clear that James Dolan is not making the player and personnel decisions and with Jackson here, Kerr would be the right hand man, in addition to his responsibilities as coach.
With all of that factored in, we revisit the question. Could Steve Kerr turn down an offer from Phil Jackson? The answer for me is a firm no. Kerr will enjoy his time being chauffeured around Golden State and New York but in the end he’ll end up right here in New York with his old buddy Phil.