Sam SpiegelmanWhen Steve Kerr was first mentioned as the leading candidate to take the Knicks coaching job, I wasn’t sure how to feel.
Sure, point guards tend to have success as first-time head coaches. Just ask Jason Kidd. But Kerr didn’t boast the strongest track record in the Suns front office either, making me all the more concerned.
But since becoming the frontrunner to take the Knicks gig, both the Lakers and Warriors have expressed interest in Kerr to be their head coach, too. The Lakers, one of the Association’s premier franchises, don’t have the ability to strike out on a coach here. Given the Mike Brown blunder and the falling out with Mike D’Antoni, they need to make a quick turnaround, and they wanted Kerr.
Parting ways with Mark Jackson, who led the team to the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, Golden State also needs to make a strong hire. If not, it will make firing Jackson look even more questionable. Like Los Angeles, the Warriors wanted Kerr.
For a rookie head coach who has been in the broadcast booth the last couple of years, Kerr is quite the hot commodity. The Lakers offer an enticing opportunity — not only to coach future Hall of Famers in Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash — but to use a plethora of cap space to build up the roster in free agency next summer. The Warriors are already a playoff team, pushing the Clippers to brink of elimination in the first round, and have cornerstones like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson already in place.
But because of Kerr’s relationship with Knicks president Phil Jackson, they have an edge.
If and when Kerr accepts the Knicks’ offer, I’m suddenly all the more confident in the direction the team is heading in. Jackson seemed to know something about Kerr that the Lakers and the Warriors picked up on, and Kerr — not John Calipari or Kevin Ollie — is the next up-and-coming young coach.
A decision should come as soon as Thursday. We’re all waiting with baited breath.