By John Schuhmann, NBA.com
NEW YORK – Since Phil Jackson took over as president of the New York Knicks in March, Steve Kerr has been the favorite to be the team’s next coach. That scenario is a little closer to being a reality now that Mike Woodson has been fired and Kerr has begun discussions with Jackson.
Kerr said Sunday that he met with Jackson for “a few hours” over dinner on Friday and talked again with his former coach on Saturday. Kerr met with reporters before Game 4 of the Nets-Raptors series, which he’ll be calling on TNT.
“We’ll keep talking,” Kerr said. “There’s a lot to cover on both sides. This was the first time we’ve talked about the job. It just opened up last week, so we’ve got a lot of things to discuss.”
Jackson indicated last week that he wasn’t sure if Kerr would want the job, but Kerr made it clear that it appeals to him.
“How could it not?,” he said. “It’s the Knicks and it’s Phil Jackson, my coach. I’d be crazy not to look into it.”
Kerr has thought about coaching since he stepped down as general manager of the Phoenix Suns in 2010.
“I’ve actually talked about coaching for the last couple of years. It’s just nobody paid any attention.
“I’ve been planning. I’ve been meeting with people. I’ve been going to training camps. I’ve been visiting with coaches. So I’ve been preparing for this and if it’s something that feels like the right fit, it’s something I’m going to do. On the other hand, I love my job at Turner and I’ve got a great gig. So, we’ll see where it all goes.”
Despite all the planning, Kerr said he wouldn’t be on the Knicks’ radar if Jackson wasn’t there. Kerr played five seasons for Jackson in Chicago, winning three championships before winning two more with the San Antonio Spurs.
“Let’s be honest,” Kerr said. “If Phil wasn’t there, nobody from the Knicks would have contacted me, because I don’t have contacts within the organization. I don’t know anybody. This league is all about contacts and relationships. So, you sort of end up following your own people.”
Kerr wouldn’t discuss the Triangle offense specifically, but said that he and Jackson “share a lot of the same philosophies.”
“I learned a lot of my basketball from him and Tex Winter. So I think it’s safe to say that we have a lot of the same ideas.”
Kerr also wouldn’t talk about his impressions of the Knicks’ roster or free agent Carmelo Anthony.
“Those are things that Phil and I are going to discuss further,” Kerr said, “All kinds of things, organizationally, personnel-wise. But those discussions are all private.”
Kerr didn’t indicate that there was any timetable. With the Knicks holding no draft picks this year, there shouldn’t be any rush to hire a staff.
“There’s just a lot to cover on both sides,” Kerr said. “He’s got to ask me a lot of questions and I got to ask him a lot. And there’s a lot of research that goes into this. It’s a big job and it’s important on both sides that we make sure that we cover all of our bases.”