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Report: Steve Kerr would prefer West Coast job over Knicks

Steve KerrSteve Kerr and Phil Jackson are already being touted as a perfect match. With Jackson now in charge of the Knicks’ basketball operations and Kerr looking to transition from the broadcast booth to coaching, there have already been reports indicating Jackson will offer New York’s vacant head coach position to his former player and Kerr will accept. It may not be that simple.

According to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, Kerr has his eye on several other potential coaching vacancies and would prefer to join a West Coast team if given the opportunity. Kerr lives in San Diego and his daughter attends college at the University of California at Berkeley. Beck believes that Jackson would hire Kerr if he wanted the job, but he’s not convinced that is the case.

As Pro Basketball Talk noted, there are several current and potential openings that would be closer to home for Kerr than coaching in New York. The Utah Jazz fired head coach Tyrone Corbin this week and the Los Angeles Lakers could be moving on from Mike D’Antoni. However, Kerr is being touted as a Jackson protege and the Lakers chose not to bring Jackson back, so that wouldn’t make much sense.

Mark Jackson is another coach who could be on his way out, despite the fact that he has led the Golden State Warriors to the playoffs and the franchise’s best record in 22 years this past season. Jackson has yet to receive a contract extension and has developed a reputation for being someone who is difficult to work with.

Phil Jackson is reportedly planning to talk to several coaching candidates for the Knicks, including college coaches Fred Hoiberg and Kevin Ollie. Ultimately, Kerr is still very much the favorite.

Knicks fire Mike Woodson

Mike WoodsonThe New York Knicks made what everyone has been expecting official on Monday when they announced that they have fired head coach Mike Woodson. New team president Phil Jackson thanked Woodson and his staff in a statement through the team’s website.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff,” Jackson said. “The coaches and players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013-14 season, and blame should not be put on one individual. But the time has come for change throughout the franchise as we start the journey to assess and build this team for next season and beyond.

“Everyone in this franchise owes a great deal of gratitude to what Mike and his staff have done. We wish him the best.”

In a way, Jackson is probably relieved that the Knicks ended up missing the playoffs after putting together an impressive run down the stretch. New York was not going to contend for a championship, and reaching the postseason would have simply delayed offseason planning and made the decision to let Woodson go a bit more complicated.

With Jackson looking to introduce the triangle offense to the Knicks, it appears that Steve Kerr is set to become the team’s next head coach. Kerr, who played under Jackson, reportedly expects to be offered the job and would except it if and when that happens. Expect Jackson to move rather quickly to make that official.

Steve Kerr expects to be offered Knicks coaching job, would accept

Steve KerrFormer Chicago Bulls sharpshooter and current TNT analyst Steve Kerr expects to be offered the New York Knicks coaching job and would accept the position, according to a report.

The New York Post says Kerr has emerged as a top candidate for the position because of his ties to new team president Phil Jackson, who was his coach with the Bulls. The Post says Kerr has gone so far as to talk with his Turner Sports bosses about adjusting his schedule in case he is named coach.

Kerr and Jackson are said to have remained close over the years, and Kerr’s knowledge of the triangle offense — Jackson’s preferred offensive system — is said to be a plus, even if Kerr does not have coaching experience. The success of Mark Jackson with the Warriors and relative success of Jason Kidd with the Nets has shown that previous coaching experience is not needed for all coaches.

Mike Woodson just completed his second season as the head coach of the Knicks. He led the team to 54-28 season in his debut and the team lost in the second round of the playoffs. This season was a disaster — the team went 37-45 and missed the playoffs despite expectations that they would have similar success to last season. He is expected to be fired.

Lamar Odom will reportedly sign with Knicks

Lamar OdomPhil Jackson could be on the verge of making his first roster move since taking over as president of the New York Knicks, and it involves a familiar face. According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, Lamar Odom is expected to sign with the Knicks this week.

By signing Odom before the 2013-2014 season officially ends, the Knicks would be able to make the second year of his contract and non-guaranteed year. Of course, that would really be the first year he is with the team. It would also allow Odom, who has not appeared in an NBA game in a year, to begin working with the Knicks immediately.

Odom will turn 35 next season. He is still recovering from a back injury that cut his basketball career in Spain short earlier this year.

Sources told Stein that the Knicks are banking on Jackson being able to steer Odom’s career and life in the right direction. We all know the rumors that have surrounded Odom’s personal life over the last year. We also know how highly he thinks of Jackson and how depressed he was when Jackson retired and the Lakers traded him. If Odom is unable to revive his career in Jackson’s familiar triangle offense, he probably won’t get a shot anywhere else.

Amar’e Stoudemire: Knicks could be NBA’s best team on paper

Amare-Stoudemire-KnicksThe New York Knicks had a great chance to make the playoffs after ripping off a streak of eight-straight wins in the middle of March, but ultimately they ended up right where we all expected them to — on the outside looking in. Prior to the season, many speculated that the Knicks would be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. Amar’e Stoudemire thinks they should have been.

After New York was officially eliminated from the postseason, Stoudemire talked about the expectations surrounding the team heading into the year.

“They should have been a little bit higher if you ask me,” Stoudemire said, via ESPNNewYork.com. “On paper we might be the best team in the league. We’ve got great players on this team who accomplished so much. We just couldn’t put it together.”

Best in the league? No chance. Teams like the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers are way more loaded than the Knicks even on paper. That said, New York certainly had a better team on paper than the results reflected.

Stoudemire was injured for much of the year, but his play down the stretch kept the Knicks in contention. He has averaged 16.2 points and and 6.2 rebounds per game since the start of March. He simply got healthy too late.

“It’s been a tough year. It’s been a roller coaster year for us all,” Stoudemire added. “… Not making the playoffs is not an option. That’s not an option for us. We’re definitely looking to make the playoffs every year.”

The Knicks’ problems run deeper than Stoudemire’s poor health, and everyone knows it. Now that the playoffs are officially not an option, New York needs to worry about keeping Carmelo Anthony. Good luck with that.

This Knicks ‘One Shining Moment’ video is too perfect for words

Mike Woodson faceThe New York Knicks were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday when the Atlanta Hawks beat the Miami Heat. It was an unsurprising end to a disappointing season for the Knicks, but not everything about the season was bad. At least all their terrible moments and letdowns yielded this absolutely incredible cinematic treasure.

Some internetter who goes by @world_wide_wob put together a a truly fantastic compilation from the Knicks’ season and set it to the touching music of “One Shining Moment.”

Sit back, relax, watch, and enjoy one seriously hilarious video. They should sent it out as their pitch to potential season ticket holders.

Tyson Chandler: Knicks will be dangerous if we make playoffs

Tyson-Chandler-KnicksIf the NBA playoffs started today, the New York Knicks would be in. That’s right, the New York Knicks. Carmelo Anthony and company have won 12 of their last 15 games, a streak that has allowed them to climb into the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference. And if the Knicks hold on and qualify for the postseason, Tyson Chandler thinks the rest of the league should be scared.

“I always thought we’d really give our ourselves a shot of making the playoffs,’’ Chandler said Monday after a win over the Utah Jazz, via Marc Berman of the NY Post. “I still believe if we get in there, somebody’s going to be in trouble.’’

New York still has six games remaining. The Atlanta Hawks, who are close behind them in the standings, have eight. The Knicks will need to continue playing well down the stretch to somehow continue their season in late April, but they seem as focused as they have all year.

“We can’t have any excuses at this point,” Chandler said. “Obviously it is going to be tough. But we have to leave it all on the basketball court.”

While I’m surprised to even be sitting here writing that the Knicks are in position to make the playoffs, I still don’t think they would advance past the first round. Sneaking into the postseason would mean making a date with either the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have some serious dysfunction going on right now, but I still think they’d beat the Knicks in a seven-game series. The fact that we’re even talking about it — given how the New York’s season has gone — is what amazes me.

H/T Black Sports Online