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.

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.

Steve Kerr talks about the time Michael Jordan punched him in the face

Michael Jordan was about as intense and competitive as it comes for an athlete. He even infamously once punched teammate Steve Kerr during a Bulls practice several years ago.

Kerr was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday and talked about the incident.

“I disagreed with him one time,” Kerr said, “I think he punched me in the face.”

Kerr was laughing when he said that, and tried to play it off like he was just kidding. But he elaborated on the incident after being pressed by Patrick.

“It was just the intensity of training camp. We got into a scrimmage, both teams were jawing, and Phil [Jackson] had left the court to go take a phone call and it just got out of hand.”

Kerr said he was stepping up to MJ in response to all the trash talking. Jordan didn’t like it, so he clocked Kerr in the face.

“It was just the competition. It was one of the best things that ever happened for me, really,” Kerr said. “I needed to stand up and go back at him, I think I earned some respect. But we have a great relationship ever since … you gotta prove it and then once you prove it that you’re tough enough, then you’re fine.”

After hearing more and more stories about MJ’s playing days, I’m convinced he would have been a lot more disliked and less beloved had he played in this era. Can you imagine if footage of Jordan punching Kerr in training camp got out? It would have gone viral faster than the video of LeBron supposedly getting dunked on by Jordan Crawford. Everyone would have been calling him an a-hole.

But I guess it’s that attitude from Kerr that gave Michael the confidence to pass to him in crunch-time. That, and Kerr’s lifetime .454 three-point shooting percentage.

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