As reported by David Aldridge of NBA.com, the Golden State Warriors stunned the basketball world Wednesday evening by agreeing to terms with TNT broadcaster Steve Kerr to become the team's next head coach.
Stunner: Steve Kerr spurns the Knicks, accepts Warriors' head coach job. Story coming on http://t.co/tv9kc59jsI.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) May 15, 2014
Succeeding Mark Jackson, who led the Warriors to consecutive playoff appearances and the team's first 50-win season since 1993-94, won't be easy, but it helps that Kerr already has the support of star point guard Stephen Curry.
According to USA Today's Sam Amick, Warriors owner Joe Lacob has spoken to Curry, who's thrown his full support behind Golden State's new leading man.
"(Curry) is extremely supportive," Lacob said. "That's all I can tell you. We got Steve Kerr because of our players. We have great players, great character individuals. They all want to win, and I can just tell you that they're very supportive."
Not only that, but the San Jose Mercury News' Tim Kawakami reports that Kerr has already talked with Curry and even cracked a joke regarding a 2009 draft-day deal that never came to fruition back when Kerr was the general manager of the Phoenix Suns:
Kerr had a good talk with Steph Curry tonight. "I told him this is retribution for that deal falling through back in '09," Kerr said.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) May 15, 2014
Kerr on his talk with Steph Curry: "He was very positive and we're planing on getting together soon." Kerr has more TNT work to do.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) May 15, 2014
Of course, none of this should come as a surprise after Curry told Golden State Warriors TV (via NBA.com) that he believed Kerr belonged on the Mount Rushmore of NBA shooters, saying, "He didn't get a lot of volume, but he was a knock down shooter and he's the career percentage leader, so he's got something to say about that."
Was Steve Kerr the right hire for the Golden State Warriors?
With the respect appearing to run both ways, Curry has a chance to learn from a marksman who shot 45.4 percent from beyond the arc for his career while honing his skills and further developing his offensive game.
Following a regular season that saw Curry average a career-high 24 points per game on 47.1 percent shooting from the field and 42.4 percent from three while boosting his player efficiency rating by three points, it's scary to think what he could be capable of should Kerr install an even more potent offense.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Kerr's deal with the Warriors is worth $25 million over five years. ESPN's Tom Haberstroh notes that this single contract that will exceed the former sharpshooter's career earnings over his 15-year career:
Steve Kerr made $15.8 million as a player, just signed for $25 million as a coach.— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) May 15, 2014
According to Bleacher Report's Grant Hughes, that sizable financial commitment could turn into a wise investment should the team develop the way ownership hopes:
Kerr gives the Warriors the chance to move into the next (and perhaps final) phase of their organizational development. Not because he's as accomplished a coach as Jackson was, and not because he's guaranteed to be a brilliant mind who everyone loves. But because he's willing to accept help.
So while Kerr has big shoes to fill, it helps that he's entering such a demanding environment with an air of optimism surrounding his arrival.
If Curry and Kerr can mesh philosophically on and off the court, there's no reason why the Warriors and their loaded roster can't emerge as title contenders in a Western Conference that's replete with daunting obstacles.