On to the next one.
Not even a full 24 hours after firing head coach Mike Woodson, the New York Knicks and team president Phil Jackson have already held extensive talks with potential successor Steve Kerr, according to USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt.
"Kerr is part of the conversation, and the two sides are deep into discussions, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports," he writes.
That was quick. Jackson only made the announcement on Monday that Woodson wouldn't be returning.
Not that it's surprising. Per Zillgitt, Kerr was considered the favorite to coach the Knicks next season before Woodson was even canned, so his name was always going to enter the fray sooner rather than later.
But the way Kerr made it sound Monday while doing his weekly SiriusXM NBA Radio show, he hadn't even talked to Jackson yet.
"Obviously my name is being thrown around," Kerr said, via Zillgitt. "I do anticipate at least being part of the conversation, and we'll see where it all goes."
At this point, Kerr's hire seems like a formality. He's been linked to Woodson's job for a while, he won three NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls while playing under Jackson and he knows the triangle offense, a system the Zen Master is expected to have the Knicks implement now that he's in charge.
This is a sure thing.
Bleacher Report's Howard Beck noted that while Kerr remains the favorite to coach New York, he could be waiting on other options:
Kerr is eying several potential openings around the league, according to sources, and he would prefer to stay on (or near) the West Coast. Kerr lives in San Diego, and he has a daughter attending college at Cal, in Berkeley. Contrary to a New York Post report, Kerr has not asked TNT for schedule flexibility in order to take the Knicks job, according to two sources with Turner Sports. (Disclosure: Turner also owns Bleacher Report.)
Would Jackson hire Kerr? Certainly. But Kerr could have more attractive options, if the Golden State Warriors fire Mark Jackson or if the Los Angeles Lakers dump Mike D'Antoni. He could also wait another year to make the leap.
Kind of makes you rethink the whole "deep into discussions" thing. Maybe that just means they've spoken, that they've exchanged pleasantries.
If Kerr is keeping his options open, this will drag out. Other coaching opportunities—especially on the West Coast—may open up after the playoffs end. Assuming Kerr is looking around, he won't be motivated to sign with the Knicks until all avenues are exhausted sometime after that.
A source also told Beck that Jackson will speak with "a lot of people" about New York's coaching vacancy, further implying that a days-long turnaround is unlikely. If the list of candidates is truly long, Jackson will need time to sort through all his recruits.
Unless, of course, Kerr and the Knicks are actually "deep into" their dialogue. Then, given what we already know, it's only a matter of time before he reunites with Jackson and assumes control of the seat Woodson called his own not long ago.
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