Steve Kerr reportedly wants to hire Luke Walton as assistant coach

Luke WaltonLuke Walton could be leaving his chair as a Lakers analyst to join the sidelines of one of their rivals.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Steve Kerr is talking with Walton about hiring him as an assistant coach.

Kerr was hired by the Golden State Warriors as their new head coach about six weeks ago and is looking to assemble his staff. He’s already hired Alvin Gentry from the Clippers to be one of his assistants.

Walton played college ball at Arizona and spent nearly his entire career with the Lakers. He was with the Lakers from 2003-2012 and the Cavs in 2012-2013. He served as a Lakers analyst for Time Warner Cable last season.

Walton was regarded as a smart player who had a high basketball IQ. Phil Jackson even wanted to speak with him about a potential coaching position after taking over as Knicks president.

Steve Kerr verbally committed to Knicks before signing with Warriors

Steve KerrSteve Kerr negotiated with Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks for quite a while before he ultimately decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors. According to Jackson, the two actually got beyond the point of negotiations and all the way to a verbal agreement.

A previous report from Marc Berman of the New York Post indicated that Kerr ultimately chose the Warriors after receiving a lowball offer from the Knicks. Jackson offered a different story when speaking to reporters on Friday.

“Unfortunately for him, he committed to me the day before the job opened with Golden State,” Jackson said, per Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. “So I had to kind of release him to actually go to this job and say you have to do what’s right for yourself. I understood entirely the process he was going through to have that job open up. That was something he kind of thought would be a good fit for him. So that’s good, we’re happy for him.”

It seems like Kerr wanted to be closer to his family all along, so I’m more inclined to believe what Jackson said rather than Kerr being insulted by a lowball offer. That said, I wouldn’t doubt that the Warriors and others did warn Kerr about working for someone like James Dolan.

Jackson also admitted that the idea of him coaching the team next season during a “transitional” period has been discussed, but he is not open to it. He confirmed that Derek Fisher is on his list of “very good candidates” for the job.

Steve Kerr consulted Gregg Popovich before picking Warriors over Knicks

Steve KerrLike any other intelligent person would have, Steve Kerr spoke to a number of people before he made his decision to sign a deal with the Golden State Warriors instead of the New York Knicks. As we learn more about his decision making process, it seems like Kerr was advised more than once to steer clear of the Knicks. Is that what Gregg Popovich told him?

On Tuesday, Popovich and Kerr told Marc Berman of the New York Post that they spoke before Kerr made his decision but would not go into detail. Pop simply said “friends talk” while Kerr had a similar message.

“We talked, but I’m not going to tell you what he said,” Kerr told Berman.

Phil Jackson irritated many people within the Spurs community last month when he said that they aren’t a dynasty despite their three championships in a five-year span and four total since 1999. We’re guessing a comment like that would be enough to lose Pop’s endorsement.

[Related: Warriors cautioned Steve Kerr about working for James Dolan]

Kerr was a part of two of San Antonio’s championship teams, and Popovich thinks very highly of him.

“He’s quite an intelligent young man,” Popovich said. “He’s been around. He’s seen a lot. He’s seen enough to know what he wants to do and what he doesn’t want to do. He’s great with interpersonal relationships. He’s a hard worker. He’s obviously a close friend, but I think on a professional level he’ll dive in and do everything he can, beginning with forming a staff and trying to do everything the right way. I’m excited for him.”

Kerr is a grown man who made his own decisions, and we already know he had a desire to remain closer to his family in California. That said, it wouldn’t have hurt the Knicks’ case if influential people who are close to Kerr vouched for New York. It doesn’t sound like anyone did that.

Also see: Knicks reportedly lost out on Steve Kerr because of lowball offer

H/T LBS tipster David

Knicks reportedly lost Steve Kerr because of lowball offer

Steve KerrSteve 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.

H/T Eye on Basketball

Warriors cautioned Steve Kerr about working for James Dolan

Steve KerrNew 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.

Steve Kerr chooses Warriors over Knicks job

Steve KerrHow’s this for a shocker: Steve Kerr is choosing the Golden State Warriors coaching job over the New York Knicks one.

TNT’s David Aldridge reported Wednesday evening that Kerr, who has never before coached, will be taking the Warriors coaching job. Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the deal is for 5 years and around $25 million.

The surprise here is that Kerr has been mentioned as the favorite for the Knicks job for weeks. However, we started having second thoughts about that news when Kerr took so long to accept. If he really wanted the Knicks job, wouldn’t he have closed the deal a long time ago?

Instead, it seems like he was using the Knicks as leverage for the Warriors, who fired Mark Jackson after losing in the playoffs to the Clippers.

Kerr is choosing a better situation and stronger roster, but the pressure will be immense; he has to do better than Jackson’s 51 wins and playoff series victory in the 2012-2013 season otherwise the fans will be all over him. And it seems like the reports saying Kerr wanted to stay on the West Coast and be closer to his daughter, who is a volleyball player at Cal, were not overblown.

Report: Phil Jackson tells Carmelo Anthony he fully expects to hire Steve Kerr

Steve KerrDespite rumors that Steve Kerr is interested in earning a head coaching position with an NBA team on the West Coast, all indications are that he is still on track to become the next coach of the New York Knicks. According to the Wall Street Journal, Phil Jackson told Carmelo Anthony over dinner earlier this week that he fully expects to hire Kerr.

Jackson had dinner with Anthony in a private room at the Tribeca Steakhouse in New York. He reportedly confirmed to Anthony, who is expected to opt out of his current contract, that he will attempt to re-sign him via free agency. Jackson also told Anthony he expects Kerr to be an extension of himself on the sidelines, which makes sense since Kerr played under Jackson for five seasons and won three NBA championships.

As further evidence that the Knicks are still likely to sign Kerr, the New York Post reported on Friday that the Los Angeles Lakers are not currently pursuing the TNT NBA analyst. The reason? They believe Kerr is already too far along in talks with Jackson and the Knicks.

Kerr lives in San Diego and has a daughter who attends college in California. Some believe he would prefer to coach closer to home, but there are simply too many signs connecting him to the Knicks. It would be extremely surprising if he ended up elsewhere.

H/T Rotoworld