New York Knicks

Report: New York Knicks Favorites to Hire Steve Kerr as Head Coach

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  Coach Steve Kerr of Team Shaq responds to reporters during a press conference prior to the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge as part of 2012 All-Star Weekend at the Amway Center on February 24, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 8, 2014

Tickets to the Steve Kerr-Phil Jackson reunion tour could be going on sale at any minute.

The New York Knicks aren't the only dog in the Kerr race, but they're reportedly the leader with the final turn approaching.

Update: Thursday, May 8 at 4:50 p.m. ET

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports that Kerr's preference is indeed the Knicks job. 

--End of update--

Original Text

"The Golden State Warriors are confident they have a strong chance to land Steve Kerr," ESPN New York's Ian Begley reported, "but the Knicks are still believed to be the favorites in the race to hire the TNT broadcaster."

The Warriors can scratch several of Kerr's itches.

He could stay close to his San Diego-based family. He'd inherit more usable roster pieces than the Knicks can offer. He has relationships with Warriors owner Joe Lacob, assistant general manager Kirk Lacob and team president Rick Welts.

Golden State can't give the Kerr the Zen Master, though.

Richard Drew/Associated Press

That, more than anything, appears to be driving Kerr toward the Empire State.

"Unless something changes," a source told Begley, "the relationship with Jackson is a very big part of this, and that's the way it looks like it will go."

Mark Heisler of the Orange County Register had previously heard Kerr's West Coast ties would have the heaviest influence on his decision:

Kerr has reportedly had contact with both the Knicks and the Warriors, although the latter reportedly has some concern its being used as leverage to work a deal with the former, the source told Begley.

Golden State has also contacted former Orlando Magic and Miami Heat coach Stan Van Gundy, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported.

At least one scribe has wondered aloud whether that means Kerr has already made his decision:

Maybe Kerr has decided his future, or perhaps he's still having those conversations.

This much at least seems clear—he's a wanted man in this industry. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith can't figure out why that's the case:

No one should have a problem with being a leading candidate for "a" coaching job.

...

But that would be 'a' job. As in one job. Not two jobs. Or three. Or four, depending on what reports you believe. For any individual with Kerr's lack of experience to have that many opportunities laid at their doorstep, it begs the question: 'What the hell has Steve Kerr done to deserve multiple dabs at the cookie jar?'

Perhaps this level of interest has less to do with Kerr and more to do with the changing landscape of basketball coaching.

Experience is no longer a necessary section of the resume. Mark Jackson and Doc Rivers both jumped from the broadcast booth into the coach's chair. Jason Kidd was weeks removed from his playing career when he took over the Brooklyn Nets.

"I think it allows people to look a little broader than they once did," Nets general manager Billy King said, via Bleacher Report's Howard Beck.

Whatever Kerr is doing to build his stock, he seems to be doing it right. The Knicks aren't his only suitor, but they hold the trump card in Jackson.

Maybe the only holdup at this point is finalizing the travel details for this reunion tour. Well, that or trying to explain to Knicks owner James Dolan why JD and the Straight Shot can't come along for the ride.

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