New York Knicks owner James Dolan hired Phil Jackson so he could yield to an expert. Jackson has been given total control of New York’s basketball operations department, which means Dolan shouldn’t be stepping on any toes going forward. Steve Kerr may not be convinced of that.
Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com is reporting that one of the pitches the Golden State Warriors made to Kerr had to do with the difficulty of working under Dolan. A source “familiar with the process” reportedly told Begley that the Warriors reminded Kerr of how established coaches like Larry Brown and Mike D’Antoni fared with the Knicks and that played a role in Kerr’s decision to choose Golden State.
Kerr’s agent Mike Tannenbaum emphasized the importance of Kerr remaining close to his family.
“Both Golden State and the Knicks were terrific to deal with, and they both made very generous offers,” Tannenbaum said. “This wasn’t a decision about money, or trying to get the last dollar. In the end, for Steve, this was based on lifestyle and family. That was a huge, huge factor in choosing Golden State. Now his family is a short flight away, and that was an extremely important thing for Steve.”
As with any major career decision, I’m sure Kerr considered a number of factors. Reports that he wanted to remain on the West Coast to be closer to his daughter obviously were not overblown, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he also wanted to avoid Dolan. At the end of the day, Dolan still owns the Knicks. As long as that’s the case, there’s always a risk of his influence harming the franchise.