George Willis of the New York Post reports figuring out who will coach the team next season is the first major order of business for new president Phil Jackson. A source close to Kerr stated he expects to get the opportunity and is already working behind the scenes with Turner Sports in case an offer comes:
According to a source close to the situation, Kerr "absolutely expects" to be offered the job. "And if he’s offered the job he’s definitely going to do it," the source told The Post.
The Post has learned Kerr has had conversations with his bosses at Turner Sports about adjusting his schedule as an analyst during the upcoming playoffs should he be named the Knicks head coach.
The report goes on to state Kerr is viewed as the leading candidate due to his relationship with Jackson, who guided him to three straight championships as a member of the Chicago Bulls. His knowledge of the triangle offense from those days also helps.
Kerr has never been a head coach. After a successful collegiate career at Arizona, he spent 15 years in the NBA and hit 45.4 percent of his three-pointers, which is No. 1 all-time. As a professional, he played under two of the best coaches the league has seen in Jackson and the San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich.
Some time after his retirement, the marksman took over as general manager of the Phoenix Suns from 2007-10. In his time there, he made notable trades that brought in Shaquille O'Neal and a rookie Goran Dragic.
If Kerr is going to get the job, that means Mike Woodson will have to be let go.
The current Knicks coach doesn't think he deserves to get fired. When Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News brought up the subject, Woodson responded: "Is it fair to let me go? I don't think so."
Lawrence proceeds to argue New York should move in another direction after failing to reach the playoffs and seeing regression across the board.
When coaches use injuries as a crutch, that thinking gives players an easy out. That has to change here, and the next coach here needs to adopt the Popovich/Thibodeau no-excuses approach.
Even counting all the injuries, Woodson had a terrible season. Every player regressed from a year ago.
Lawrence also notes Jackson wants Kerr to coach the team after supporting him in a previous bid to take over the Detroit Pistons job.
Through his work as an analyst for TNT, it's become clear that Kerr has a firm understanding of the game, which isn't a surprise after he learned from the likes of Jackson and Popovich. Whether he can control a locker room as a coach is unknown.
The Knicks definitely took a step in the wrong direction this season. A new voice would help them turn the page and start focusing on building for the future with the tandem of Jackson and Kerr, who would seem to share a similar philosophy on how to create a winning team.
It's not a done deal yet, but all signs currently point toward Kerr becoming the next Knicks coach.
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