With the gravitational pull of president Phil Jackson, it was assumed that the Zen Master's former point guard, Steve Kerr, was going to be the next head coach of the New York Knicks.
Not so fast.
Kerr, the former general manager of the Phoenix Suns who had became highly sought-after in coaching circles despite having no experience in that capacity, reportedly agreed to a giant deal with the Golden State Warriors Tuesday. NBA.com's David Aldridge and Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski had the news:
USA Today's Sam Amick added details regarding the structure of the hefty contract:
Perhaps the most amazing aspect of the new deal is how Kerr's new contract compares to his several during a 15-year career as a player, via ESPN's Tom Haberstroh:
Kerr spurning the Knickerbockers comes as a bit of a surprise simply because of his history with Jackson. The former point guard won three NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls, and the opportunity to work under the ultra-successful Jackson had to be alluring.
However, as many were quick to point out, a better roster and a closer proximity to home—his family lives in San Diego—were awaiting Kerr in Golden State.
Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling and Howard Beck summed up the consensus opinion—coaching better talent makes for an easier job:
In fact, as the Mercury News' Tim Kawakami added, Kerr has long wanted to work with Curry, who has transformed from March Madness hero to most dangerous sharpshooter in the NBA:
As CBS Sports' Jeff Borzello and SheridanHoops.com's Chris Sheridan argued, the presence of the often-criticized James Dolan also likely went into the decision:
Then, of course, there's the whole contract and job security thing. Kerr's college head coach, Lute Olsen, believes that was ultimately the deciding factor, via Adam Zagoria:
Just a little bit north, we've seen what an upgrade at head coach can do for a team, as the addition of Doc Rivers has taken the Los Angeles Clippers from good to legitimate Western Conference contenders.
Kerr, who will get the most out of Golden State's burgeoning talent and has experience in the front office, has a chance to do just that with the Warriors.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob, via Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears, couldn't help gushing over his newest hire:
As for the Knicks, Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch and ESPN's Chris Broussard offered up some potentially intriguing candidates:
With Jason Kidd last year, Kerr this year and Derek Fisher and John Stockton possibly following suit, it's clear the NBA is not only ushering in a new generation on the court, but on the bench, as well.
The Warriors will simply be hoping that "youth" on the sideline meshes with one of the most electrifying, up-and-coming rosters in the NBA.