Lute Olson: Warriors job a strong possibility for Steve Kerr

Former NBA player Steve Kerr reacts while participating

Former NBA player Steve Kerr reacts while participating in a shooting contest with members of the VCU team during a practice for a Southwest regional semifinal game in the NCAA Tournament Thursday March 24, 2011, in San Antonio. (Credit: AP / Tony Gutierrez)

Steve Kerr was in his usual position last night, analyzing a playoff game for TNT in Oklahoma City.

But Kerr is flying back home to San Diego Thursday to discuss a potential life-altering career change with his wife and children. Kerr has become a sought-after head coaching candidate, and the Knicks suddenly have competition for his services.

The Knicks job is believed to be Kerr's if he wants it, and his relationship with Knicks president Phil Jackson could lead to Kerr's moving cross country. But the Warriors want Kerr, too, and could pose a real threat to the Knicks for various reasons -- from roster to location.

"He's going to go home, speak to his family and go from there," a league source said.

The Warriors reached out to Kerr, who never has coached, after they dismissed Mark Jackson Tuesday. The Lakers also reportedly are interested in Kerr, but are said to be considering numerous other candidates.

The source indicated it's a two-team race between the Knicks and Warriors for Kerr.

Lute Olson, Kerr's coach at Arizona, remains close to him and said they talk on a regular basis. Olson believes Kerr will have a tough choice to make. "Steve's daughter [Maddy] is at [Cal-Berkeley],'' Olson said by phone Wednesday. "She's a [volleyball] star. I'm sure that's tugging at him a little bit. I don't know what's going to happen. It's going to happen pretty quickly."

Kerr had been expected to decide this week, and all signs pointed to joining the Knicks. But the Warriors' vacancy could delay things if not change them. Golden State has a better roster than the Knicks, and owner Joe Lacob is fond of Kerr. Team president Rick Welts hired Kerr as Suns president and GM in 2007.

But Kerr's relationship with Jackson is strong, and having him as adviser and coach whisperer could be very appealing to him. Olson said Kerr feels a strong sense of allegiance.

"The big ticket is Phil,'' Olson said. "He has a lot of confidence in him and he feels Phil would be helpful in his first year of coaching. I'm sort of sitting on the edge of my seat. I know he will be successful wherever he goes.''

The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Knicks, Madison Square Garden and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.

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