Kicked To The Kerr
By Eddie Castro
There has been huge expectations for the New York Knicks franchise since the hiring of Phil Jackson. Jackson, as we all know, is a proven winner having won 11 NBA titles as a head coach for the Bulls in the 90s and the Lakers in the early 2000s. He has also won 2 titles as a player for the Knicks in 1970 and ‘73. So when you hear the name Phil Jackson and he wants you to play for his team, how does anyone say no to that? The Knicks cleaned house by firing coach Mike Woodson and the rest of the coaching staff, leaving Jackson to not only build a team but a coaching group as well. He had his eyes on one person in particular.
Since the ending of the first round of the NBA playoffs, there have been many sources indicating that Jackson had found his guy to lead the New York Knicks in Steve Kerr. Kerr, as many people may remember, played for Jackson in a handful of years in Chicago, a team that included Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Ron Harper just to name a few. Kerr does not have any coaching experience at any basketball level, but his IQ for the game of basketball is magnificent. It is no secret that whoever Jackson decides to hire, he would want to bring in a guy who is familiar with his “triangle offense”. It was reported that Kerr had met with Jackson twice in the past month to discuss the head coaching vacancy. In a shocking twist, Kerr had signed a 5-year deal to become coach of the Golden State Warriors. This coming after it was reported that the Warriors were out of the running in signing Kerr. The move was a surprise but to Kerr it was a no-brainer. Kerr told NBA.com that becoming the Warriors head coach “just felt like the right move on many levels”. He said his daughter plays volleyball nearby at the University of California at Berkeley; his oldest son attends a college in San Diego and his youngest son is a junior in high school. Kerr had called Jackson to tell him his thoughts and his decision. When asked about turning down his former coach Kerr said, “It was agonizing to say no to him because of what I think of him and what he has done for my career. I told (Jackson) that I have to pursue this other opportunity. He gave me his blessing and said”, “Go look at it and do what was in my heart”.
After swinging and missing out on their top candidate, Jackson appears to have his eyes on yet another player that he has coached. Sources say that Jackson will now sit and wait to talk to current NBA player for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Derek Fisher. Fisher was coached by Jackson in which that team won three straight championships with Fisher on that roster from 2000-2003. Fisher should have some knowledge of the triangle offense and that’s exactly what Jackson wants to bring to New York. Luke Walton, Tyron Lue and Mark Jackson are also candidates for the Knicks head coaching job.
Sports Notes: (Baseball) Grand Street Campus’ own Dellin Betances looks like he is putting things together for the Yankees after a fantastic performance against the Mets last week in which he came out the bullpen to face six batters and struck out all six. Betances and the Yanks will be in Chicago the entire week as they prepare for a 3-game set against the Cubs and then head to the South Side of Chicago for a 4-game set against the White Sox. The Mets will wrap up a 3-game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight and then prepare for the Arizona Diamondbacks to come into Citi Field for a 3-game set.