Harris DeckerOn Tuesday, Mark Jackson was fired as head coach of the Golden State Warriors, ending his three year run with the team. Over that time, he went 121-109, making the playoffs in two of the three seasons. Rumors had been going around for a long time he had clashed with the Golden State front office and it seems like that has now cost him his job.
Steve Kerr is likely to make a decision regarding the Knicks head coaching position sometime this week. It seems extremely likely that he will take the position, but that has created an interesting debate. With Mark Jackson’s firing, does he make more sense to coach the Knicks?
In one word: No. Mark Jackson is a guy with a plan. He is an extremely capable coach who will receive a ton of attention from teams across the NBA. The reason that Mark Jackson doesn’t make sense in New York is the same reason he didn’t make sense in Golden State.
Jackson is a strong willed man who is good at his job. While it would be smart for him to team with Phil Jackson, there’s no guarantee that the two would get along. After all, Mark was just fired for not getting along with the front office. What do you imagine the relationship between Mark and Phil would look like the first time they disagreed?
Phil Jackson needs a coach that he can mold. Mark Jackson is very close to being a finished product as a coach, despite his firing. Kerr is a guy who can grow into the position under Phil and learn from the living legend.
Despite all of this, SNY’s poll seemed to show that the fans disagree. Sixty-three percent would rather see Mark Jackson coach the Knicks. While it’s easy to see the appeal of a guy like Mark Jackson, Kerr is the guy that makes sense. If Phil Jackson was never brought in as the Knicks president this would be a much easier decision. In that case Mark Jackson would be the guy. But given Phil’s presence, Kerr simply makes the most sense and I believe he will accept the position before the week is out.