Knicks reportedly lost Steve Kerr because of lowball offer
Steve Kerr chose to sign a contract with the Golden State Warriors over the New York Knicks for a variety of reasons, one of which was money. We all know Kerr wanted to remain closer to his family on the West Coast, but everything has a price. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks lost out on Kerr thanks in large part to a lowball offer.
Phil Jackson and company reportedly made an initial offer of three years and $13 million to Kerr. The TNT analyst ended up signing a five-year, $22 million deal with the Warriors, and Berman believes the Knicks could have locked Kerr down if they didn’t play hardball from the start.
Had the Knicks originally offered Kerr five years, $22 million — $4.4 million a year — he probably would have closed the deal before Golden State could reenter the fray. Jackson only bumped the offer to four years in response to Golden State’s offer.
A source said Kerr wasn’t moving across the country for less money than the Warriors were offering. The Knicks have insisted Jackson, not owner James Dolan, handled the negotiations.
While the Knicks say Jackson was responsible for negotiating with Kerr, a separate report from the NY Daily News claimed ownership “did not appear to support” Jackson’s pursuit of Kerr. You have to wonder if James Dolan, who is said to have already clashed with Jackson over personnel decisions, would only allow Jackson to offer so much to a first-time head coach.
“When I saw Phil today he looked like a guy who had lost $60 million,” a league executive reportedly told Frank Isola of the NY Daily News. “Last summer he looked refreshed when I saw him. Now he really looks beaten down. He didn’t look good.”
Whatever the reason, the Knicks still don’t have a head coach with two of the best candidates — Kerr and Stan Van Gundy — already having found work.