The New York Knicks are still coach-less (not that it matters at this point), but Phil Jackson has said he has several candidates he will look at in his search. Steve Kerr’s name has come up repeatedly, and Jackson has confirmed that he’s a lead candidate. According to a report, the two met and dined and spoke about the position:
Leading candidate Steve Kerr met with Phil Jackson for dinner in Manhattan on Friday, making him officially in play for the Knicks’ head coaching vacancy.
“We talked about the coaching position and we’ll keep talking,” Kerr told the Daily News on Sunday on his way into Barclays Center, where he called Game 4 of the Nets-Raptors series for TNT. “I’ve made it pretty clear the past couple of years that I’d like to get into coaching, and now it’s sort of out there. It’s like anything else, you have to explore it and that’s what we’re doing.”
Kerr also mentioned some things like he’s been trying to prepare himself for a coaching position, which included a meeting with Bill Parcells earlier in the week. Kerr also noted that his announcing schedule in the playoffs makes things tough in terms of having further talks with Jackson, so things may continue at a slower pace for awhile.
The dinner and Kerr’s admission that he’s interested in the job seem to point to Kerr being the favored candidate at this point in the search. However, Jackson did say he has other names in mind, and I imagine that a more formal interview — likely with James Dolan, too — is still to come before there’s any more substance to Kerr’s candidacy.
My feelings on Kerr still remain the same at this point. He’s intriguing — a young, modern NBA mind who has learned from two great coaches in Jackson and Gregg Popovich as a player. His lack of coaching experience is a bit worrying, but Jeff Hornacek didn’t have any experience before taking the Phoenix Suns job, and he had an OK roster performing at a playoff pace for much of the season.
However, Kerr still has to be a good fit with the Knicks. Sure, he’ll have Jackson helping him, but they intend to integrate the triangle offense into the team, and it’s questionable if the Knicks have the proper pieces for such a system. Similarly, Kerr’s lack of experience may be tough when it comes to managing a mostly older team, especially if Carmelo Anthony re-signs. The next head coach will surely have an impact on Anthony’s decision, and bringing in a rookie coach with a star who wants to compete for a title might not be the best fit. If the Knicks go for a full rebuild, minus Anthony, then Kerr might be the perfect man for the job.