Lute Olson: Kerr focused on Knicks’ job, not Lakers’

Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter

Legendary former Arizona coach Lute Olson says Steve Kerr is focused on taking the Knicks’ coaching job if it’s offered — not the Lakers’ gig.

“I think right now he’s totally focused on the Knicks’ situation,” Olson, who coached Kerr at Arizona in the 1980s and spoke to him on Tuesday, told SNY.tv and The Knicks Blog by phone, echoing comments he made to the New York Post.

Still, once Mike D’Antoni resigned from the Lakers, Kerr’s name came up as a possible replacement. Olson said Kerr lives “within 100 miles” of Los Angeles and “there were a lot of comments right away about Steve Kerr” possibly taking the job.

But Olson said Kerr would rather work with Knicks President Phil Jackson, his former coach with the Chicago Bulls, than with any other executive.

“I know Steve is very concerned about who the general manager is and I think with [Lakers GM] Mitch Kupchak, he’s somebody that Steve knows well because Steve was a general manager of the Suns at the same that Mitch was with the Lakers,” Olson said. “But in my opinion Steve would be interested in any job that Phil was involved with. The Lakers thing of course would be close to his home in Rancho Sante Fe, and with the Knicks Steve’s youngest son will be a senior next year in high school so Margot, his wife, would plan on being at home there as Matthew finishes his senior year so the family would be apart for a season.

“I know that’s a concern to Steve but I think he has Margot’s backing on taking the Knicks’ job if he’s offered.”

Kerr and Jackson reportedly met twice last weekend to discuss the job, and it seems only a matter of time before Kerr is officially offered it, if he hasn’t been already. Some reports suggested it could happen after the first round of the NBA playoffs.

“To my knowledge he has not been offered the job but I don’t know,” Olson said, adding that he and Kerr spoke for 45 minutes on Tuesday.

“In my opinion he would like to have the job. And he has discussed it with Phil a couple times but I haven’t spoken with Phil so I have no idea what’s going on from the other end. But Steve is looking at it that he played for Phil with the Bulls and he feels that it would be very helpful to him not having coached before to have someone like Phil to lean on, and he feels very comfortable with Phil, the fact that they had a close working relationship when Steve played for him in Chicago. And I think Phil’s feelings about Steve are really the same as Steve’s feelings about Phil. They enjoyed that relationship and Steve as a new coach feels it would be very beneficial to be able to work under somebody like Phil.”

Olson praised Kerr’s “leadership qualities” and said he “demands hard work and dedication to the job.”

As far as Carmelo Anthony — who dined this week with Jackson at a New York steakhouse to discuss his and the team’s future, potentially including the idea of Melo possibly taking less than max money — Olson said he believes Anthony could “fit in very well to the triangle” offense that Jackson and, presumably, Kerr espouse.

“I think that Carmelo would become the Michael Jordan of the Knicks with that triangle offense,” Olson said. “And Steve knows that offense inside and out, and obviously Phil does as well.”

The Knicks are targeting the summer of 2015 to add free agents, when $52 million in cap space will come off the books. And Olson believes New York would be an attractive landing spot for guys like Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge.

“In addition to Carmelo, I think with players that are going to be restricted or unrestricted players on on other teams, I think that New York would be a very attractive place for them because they know what the triangle offense is all about,” Olson said. “I think they have a great deal of confidence in Phil. I know that their draft choices over the next couple of years are not in very good positions, but I think Phil was hired to bring great basketball back to New York and anything that Phil has set his mind to, he’s been pretty successful in achieving that.”

He added: “I don’t think they’re going to get it done with draft picks, personally. I think they’re going to get it done with restricted or unrestricted players who want to be in New York and want to be a part of something big in terms of rebuilding the franchise.’


Adam Zagoria covers the New York Knicks and Big East hoops for NBA.com and SNY.tv. He also appears as a Big East Basketball Insider on SNY and 1050 ESPN Radio. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.




201 comments
Chris
Chris

Rewind on msg. bargs had his moments. 

Chris
Chris

Mark Jackson V DAW, DaW talks to his clipboard during time out, Jackson talks to his players

Franky
Franky

Hey where's Tommy Dee dose he still work for this blog?

rgm891
rgm891

I love the NBA playoffs!!!!

lobcity1
lobcity1

GSW and Clips going to game 7. Giving props to Marc Jax. With all of his bigs out he has his boys play hard.

lobcity1
lobcity1

You guys are saying that Marc Jax is Woodson 2.0....I'm sorry I dont see it. Marc Jax is much better and doing a hell of a job.

lobcity1
lobcity1

Blake Griffin and his offensive moves. He loves to lower his shoulders and push off.

lobcity1
lobcity1

How would you guys feel as a coach in the NBA and a player is dating your daughter?



I wouldn't let that happen.

lobcity1
lobcity1

And what about Matt Barnes? Another player that took a step backwards.

lobcity1
lobcity1

Talking about Klay Thompson, what about his development?


I thought GSW got themselves a Allan Houston but he took a step backwards this season. I see no improvements at all in his game.

lobcity1
lobcity1

GSW are a good team but they just don't have enough. Klay is disappointing. This guy should be creating his own shot, attacking  off the dribble and creating shots for others passing the ball. All i see is a jump shooter. 

Marvel
Marvel

Crawford.. Jordan.... saving the series

Marvel
Marvel

big babe is dirty for that

lobcity1
lobcity1

With oneil out this series is over. GSW will get dominated on the boards.

Marvel
Marvel

Soooo .Paul Goeorge getting suspended for leaving the bench or nah?

rgm891
rgm891

What a cheap shot. Wow

lobcity1
lobcity1

If GSW would use some head fakes, Clipper bigs will be in foul trouble every game.

jax13
jax13

Hawks with a very Knix-like loss tonite. That was their shot to win series, wiz vs pacers

bigdishing
bigdishing

Serious question: wtf happened to Roy Hibbert? I haven't followed all that closely. He looks twenty pounds heavier and tweaked on new meds. 

rgm891
rgm891

Not a chance in hell I would let the happen. Haha

jax13
jax13

Reggie miller sux in the Kia commercial. Miller will always n forever be hatin on the Knix.

1harris1
1harris1

@OLDKNICK Sometimes though, it's that first girl who sees something in you that none of the other girls do.

solar_lion
solar_lion

@bigdishing Maybe he's just to big to support his massive frame. Big lumbering pile of shyt.

knicksgirl35
knicksgirl35

@bigdishing  He and Paul George's swords crossed I heard. He hasn't been the same since. He must be confused now. lol

lobcity1
lobcity1

Smigz.

How would you handle that situation?

lobcity1
lobcity1

Knicks_Fanatic.

I dont and you're %110 correct. I just figured Doc is a smart man and raised a smart girl.

lobcity1
lobcity1

@rgm891  The girl he impregnated is super sexy. She makes Doc's daughter look like sh!+.


I'm surprise that Doc didn't stop her from dating George. I'm assuming he didn't know at first bc Doc was an NBA player himself. I'm pretty sure he was hitting the groupies as well. He knows wassup!

rgm891
rgm891

If lebron was the one who got hit. He would have done about twenty backflips.

knicksgirl35
knicksgirl35

@lobcity  You're right. This is a cool place. Even for a woman. 

chudogz1
chudogz1

@Sandro Guedes. LOL... He put a Xanax in the spaghetti sauce

lobcity1
lobcity1

Smigz.

I agreed. I guess as a parent you just have to be there and help her learn from her mistakes. She probably was just enjoying herself and didn't see a future with George anyways.

lobcity1
lobcity1

Smigz.

I guess you're right. I would think being next to your kids will mean more than anything though even if it means being home with a women you dont want to be around.

lobcity1
lobcity1

Old_Knick.

Hahaaaaaaaaa. Too funny! You was getting in it like that?

rgm891
rgm891

LMAO. Old Knicks you're the man

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@BigChiefTriangle @Knicks_Fanatic@lobcity 

I was talking active players. If you want to know the best actor that has played in the NBA, that would be Chuck Connors, aka The Rifleman, from the 50's. He played for the Celtics and the Brooklyn Dodgers, before heading out for an acting career.

lobcity1
lobcity1

@rgm891  lol. No doubt about that. A true a actor.

lobcity1
lobcity1

@knicksgirl35  Yea. Most sites predominately males are not female friendly lol

lobcity1
lobcity1

@chudogz   Rumors that Doc sent his goons at George for cheating on his daughter.

chudogz1
chudogz1

@knicksgirl35. I guess now we know who Paul George was cheating on Doc Rivers daughter with

knicksgirl35
knicksgirl35

@illmatix  I heard that they had a 3 way and their swords crossed and the rest is----whatever. Sorry to be somewhat explicit.