Warriors may compete with Knicks for Steve Kerr
MIAMI - Steve Kerr could have a very difficult choice to make.
Kerr is widely considered the front-runner for the Knicks' vacant coaching job. But Kerr now is also expected to be a candidate for the Warriors' job after Golden State fired Mark Jackson Tuesday.
"I'm expecting Golden State to reach out to [Kerr]," a league source said.
The Warriors reportedly have contacted him already, and there are reports that Kerr is interested in the job. If he's offered the position, it could be hard for him to turn down.
Kerr, who never has coached before, lives in San Diego, and one of his children goes to Cal-Berkeley. The Warriors won 51 games this season and have made the playoffs two years in a row, while the Knicks underachieved on the way to a 37-win season and failed to qualify for the playoffs.
But Kerr has remained very close to Knicks president Phil Jackson, his former coach in Chicago. Kerr played on three Bulls championship teams under Jackson, who met with Kerr 10 days ago in New York.
"Steve feels a strong allegiance to Phil," the source said. "We'll see how things proceed."
All signs had pointed to Kerr's joining Jackson in New York as early as this week. But the Warriors' vacancy could throw a wrench into Kerr's plans, as well as the Knicks'.
Mark Jackson's firing didn't come out of the blue, though. It was reported throughout the season that he was on shaky ground, and even though the Warriors made the postseason again, it didn't save his job. It also was reported that Warriors owner Joe Lacob liked Kerr and would pursue him.
Kerr also has a relationship with Warriors president Rick Welts, who hired Kerr to be the Suns' general manager in 2007.
These connections could have been the reason there was a report last week that said the Knicks wanted to have the Kerr deal wrapped up by the end of the first round of the playoffs. Perhaps Phil Jackson knew the Warriors could pose a threat if their coaching job opened up.
It's unclear who the Knicks would interview if Kerr takes another job. Bill Cartwright is a possibility, but it was believed he would be an assistant coach under Kerr. Thunder guard Derek Fisher also is a possibility when Oklahoma City's season is over. Jackson wants someone fluent in the triangle offense, and Fisher played for him with the Lakers.
In an interview with WFAN on Tuesday, Kerr's agent Mike Tannenbaum, the former Jets GM, said "there's interest" in the Knicks. But Tannenbaum also said, "There could be some other openings."
Kerr, an analyst for TNT, has been on the road for most of the playoffs. It was expected that a decision would come later this week after he comes home and discusses his future with his wife and family.
The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Knicks, Madison Square Garden and Cablevision.
Cablevision owns Newsday.