Warriors or Knicks for Kerr? Go west!

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com


VIDEO: The Inside Crew discussed Mark Jackson’s future with the Warriors before he was fired Tuesday

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Steve Kerr doesn’t need professional advice from me or anyone else.

But as a concerned colleague, I’m going to give it anyway.

STAY OUT OF NEW YORK!

Seriously.

Listen to everything they have to say. Soak it all up. But no matter how much they sweeten the offer, no matter how intoxicating the idea of joining force with Phil Jackson sounds, you need to resist that urge. Don’t make this an emotional thing. Keep it about business. Strictly business.

If you’re going to dive into these nasty coaching waters, where guys get fired with winning records, after 51-win seasons that include playing in Game 7s of playoff series, do it somewhere other than New York.

The Knicks are not yet ready for the sort of success that can be attained with the core group the Golden State Warriors have assembled. And if you are indeed atop their wish list as well, that’s an opportunity you cannot let pass.

The Warriors fired Mark Jackson this afternoon, surprising no one with the decision to part ways with their coach of three seasons after three straight years of improvement.

The Warriors made the playoffs in two of the past three seasons after making it just once in the 17 seasons before Jackson arrived.  They made it in back-to-back years for the first time since 1991 under Jackson, whose 51-win season this year wasn’t enough to save him from Tuesday’s chopping block.

That first round exit against the Los Angeles Clippers, a Game 7 for the No. 6 seed Warriors against the No. 3 seed Clippers, was again, not enough to save Jackson. Neither was candid and extremely public endorsements from the Warriors’ most high-profile players, including the face of the franchise, All-Star point guard Steph Curry.

But sometimes a fresh perspective is warranted.

Kerr brings that, the same way Jackson did when he was hired.

The window for most coaches to keep a team locked in on their vision is roughly three to four seasons anyway. Walking into that Warriors situation now is the ideal time for someone who has been crafting their own vision of the game and how he’d want his team to play in this era, could be a dream scenario for the right coach.

With a ton of experienced coaches, guys like George Karl, Stan Van Gundy, Byron Scott, Jeff Van Gundy, Lionel Hollins, Mike Woodson and others all available, the Warriors should have no shortage of candidates interested in coaching a team capable of  doing what we’ve seen out of the Warriors under Jackson?

In short, the Warriors have plenty of options. And since they didn’t worry about Curry’s feelings regarding Mark Jackson’s future with the franchise, they probably won’t bother consulting with their franchise player in the selection of Jackson’s replacement.

In years past I’d have worried about a franchise making a move like that. But not now. Not in this day and age of players and coaches making moves of their own in free agency and trades (Doc Rivers from the Celtics to the Clippers seems to have worked out well in LA).

If the Warriors’ front office feels as strongly about Kerr as most insiders believe they do, hence their quick decision on Jackson while the Knicks were trying to negotiate a deal with Kerr, the only thing left to do is make it official.

I’m going to miss Kerr’s sharp analysis on TNT and during March Madness, like plenty of others.

But if he’s hell-bent on coaching, on doing it to win and win big, then it’s pretty obvious to me where that needs to happen. And as much as I love the mystique and intrigue of what could be in New York, the better spot right now has to be in Oakland.

21 Comments

  1. okc2014 says:

    I agree, Steve Kerr seems to nice to coach. Nobody’s talking about the Fakers. That is more intriguing to me. Who will be the coach?????

  2. Bucks4Life says:

    Choose your own adventures: NBA Coach. It is something to be said that two franchises in the NBA just fired both their coaches after 3 years, and Kerr is in a position to pick one or the other, but not sure which will be the more troublesome of the two. If he goes to the Knicks, everything next season depends on Melo. Phil will do what he can, but with Melo gone, the Knicks might clean house by the trade deadline.

  3. theholyspectator says:

    if kerr goes to the knicks, melo is definitely bouncing

  4. Yave says:

    Honestly that was the worse possible move GS management could’ve done

  5. Ivan says:

    I’m a little confused as to why Steve Kerr is the coach everybody wants but he has no coaching experience. I do respect him he did a great job in Phoenix but why is he all of a sudden this incredible coach everyone wants? In my opinion he seems a little to nice to be a Head Coach but i guess we will find out soon enough. I do understand why Phil Jackson would want Steve as Coach of the Knicks ands its because they have same the basketball philosophies and since Phil can’t coach himself Steve would be an extension of himself out on the Court which makes sense.

  6. J4CK Nicholson says:

    If I’m Steve I’ll review both situations. If I feel like it’s time for GSW to win it all and just 2 players away from championship then I’ll grab the opportunity, but if it’s still a year under the caliber of a championship team (given owner’s impatience) I might skip. Same goes for Knicks, if they don’t have picks and if they find it hard to get rid of ridiculous contracts and thugs on the lineup I’d say no thanks. But if they have picks and trade baits and/or expiring contracts then it’s time for him to take risk and experiment on the lineup.

  7. Gillsy says:

    I don’t know where he will be next year. It depends on the direction Golden State want to take. But I don’t know why teams do things like the Nuggets where they have a coach getting results and fire him for a rookie coach. But in the end Jackson didn’t want to toe the line with management so it cost him his job. But I wont be surprised if he is coaching somewhere next year. I can see someone else like Hollins or Karl who have shown to take teams further. Cause the Warriors look like a good team and have made the playoff and put a few good seasons together but wont win a championship without a defensive minded coach , or one who knows how to win. I can see Lee going as well, cause he is a liability when it comes to defence and Barnes could be on the way out cause I think they have lost patience with him.

  8. Rickson says:

    Mark Jackson brought so much to Warriors, i think if Steve Kerr will coach the Warrior it will be more like start from the beginning team, For an example NY Knicks does have lots of really good players but their staffs wasn’t that good so if Warriors will release Mark Jackson i don’t think Warriors will be a good team next year, all they have to do is bring more good front man players to substitute the starters and maybe replace some of the starter… they don’t even have good second squad players only few can play but i think Warriors need to look at their roster before release their coach… Mark Jackson did outstanding job for Warriors, and if they release him Warriors will be suffer team for longtime like they have been for more than a decades.

  9. philthegreat says:

    Steve Kerr was a great shooter but never a smart player. this type of player would normally not get any success to be a couch. based on his resume from phoenix, he’s not gonna do a better job than Marc Jackson………….firing Marc might not be a bad choice for golden state since he might not be able to take the team to the next level. comparing last year and this year, Stephen and clay still made some unnecessary shoots that hurt their team a lot. also, their defense wasn’t improving that much……………………………………….Kerr is better to be a commentator or listen 100% to what Phil tells him , otherwise he’s gonna be another ‘mike brown’ ‘m Williams’ or ‘Del negro’

  10. Nathan says:

    Why would anyone want to coach in NY with Phil Jackson above him. We all know Phil Jackson will want to get his hands involved in how the coaching is done. I’ wouldn’t pick NY just so that I could have more flexibility and control to run and coach a team how I want to.

  11. Shut up FranB says:

    I believe his choice will come down to whether he wants to win it now or in the future. Warriors has a good set now and he can lead the team to win immediately. Knicks has Phil as the team leader and decision makers. Something good is going to happen there but I cannot see it happens in this or next year.

    After seeing what happens to coach, like George Karl, Mark Jackson and Lionel Hollins, it is not a good idea to help a ball club rebuild and go to playoff and then get fired. That will happen again in NY. Success does not mean anything to coaches in NBA nowadays.

  12. Syed F Akbar says:

    You picked the Warriors to win it all, that didn’t happen. They lost in the first round. You want Kerr to take that position because you are hoping he could make that happen next year. Personally, I think the Warriors are not ready – not yet.

    Your wish to see Kerr in Golden State may still come true, although for a different reason.

    Phil Jackson maybe talking to Kerr, but it is far from a done deal. Jackson is not known for teaching ABCs, not to the players, not to the coaches. He will show you how to get to the top of the mountain, but only if you are already an accomplished climber – only if you have a burning desire to get there. For him to take a smart, but raw, apprentice and shape him into his vision may be the logically correct thing to do, only I don’t think he would. That is not his way … nor does he have the time.

  13. Hector says:

    im a knick fan and the biggest gripe i have with my team is the owner. Enter Phil Jackson, things are looking up now and i believe he will do a great job handling Jim Dolans ego and run this organization the right way. Kerr has to realize his situation and look at whats happening in golden state they just fired a great coach for improving each year he’s been there and had his players playing hard for him. They have no front court bogut is always hurt that was a bad move he never plays. looks to me like that front office is well on its way to becoming the old knicks of the west. i also think melo would thrive in the triangle offense and in one year they can build a team to their liking and phil i believe will do a great job at.

    • larron says:

      Your absolutely right I don’t understand why everyone dislikes new York so much its baffling to me that where ever I go its some kind of hate for NY no one was talking about Steve Kerr as an head coach but as soon as NY start talks with him its no, don’t go there go to golden state Kerr has done nothing as an head coach they don’t know what he would bring to the table Phil Jackson does but the other teams don’t but all of a sudden its no come here and not the Knicks if you can fire mark Jackson for being a winning coach this does make sense to me.

  14. madai says:

    i agree with this statement that kerr should go to the west. last season was a disappointing season the knick barely made the playoff.I strongly believe knicks will improve but there not going to make it far to the playoffs.Kerr should go to warriors because warriors are a much title contender than the knicks.Warriors have good bench player that make good plays.The warriors has three leading scores that scores and play defense very efficiently.Meanwhile the knicks are now rebuilding but kerr doesn’t have enough coach experiences to coach struggling knick team.melo a star but not as elite as lebron to carry his team to the finals or get a ring.Melo can’t have good games all the times it just not melo.Stephan curry has a long career ahead of him he going to eventually be successful.

    • billy ray says:

      knicks have phil jackson. that right there should be enough incentive to choose ny. phil jackson isn’t just a HOF coach, he is also an excellent talent evaluator. you shouldn’t judge the knicks job by what they did last year, but what him and phil can accomplish over the next 3,4, or 10 years.

      • Eddy says:

        Having Phil Jackson may also be an incentive not to choose New York. The problem is that any coach there will be constantly in his shadow and could be seen as nothing more than Phil Jackson’s puppet.

      • boots says:

        yes, but the knicks also have dolan. that’s a huge negative right there

      • SharpieOne says:

        I wouldn’t put too much hope in Phil Jackson, especially when he’s not coaching guys like Jordan or Kobe. Inheriting Jordan and Pippen and Kobe and Shaq, while being able to pick up free agents who have already proven themselves in the NBA, doesn’t really make him an excellent talent evaluator. What exactly do you think made him a great talent evaluator? The fact that he drafted Tony Kukoc, B.J. Armstrong and Marc Gasol (A great young player who he traded for his past prime older brother)??

    • Dieter says:

      If you fail under Phil, than your coaching carreer is pretty much over, if you win under Phil, he gets the credit. I don’t know why kerr would even consider going to the Knicks. Also there’s way too much drama in NY for a rookie coach. I’ve no idea about the coaching carreer of Phil without Jordan/Pippen/Shaq/Kobe, was he really that good without the best talent in the league?