Steve Kerr’s ex-teammate Harper expects him to get NY Knicks job

kerr-speakersEver since Phil Jackson took over the basketball operations for the New York Knicks, TNT analyst Steve Kerr has emerged as the frontrunner to be his handpicked choice to coach the team.

Kerr has long made it known he wants to get into coaching on an NBA level. He doesn’t have any experience in coaching, and yet he seems like the first option for the NY Knicks right now.

Kerr met with Jackson over the weekend, and held several talks with thim about the head-coaching job with the Knicks. ESPN reported quoting Kerr as saying that the Knicks likely wouldn’t be interested in him if it weren’t for his connection to Jackson.

“I’ve known for a while, since I’ve left Phoenix as general manager (in 2007) that I wanted to get into coaching,” Kerr said. “I also knew that the mark against me is a lack of experience. I think the general managing experience was huge for me. But I have not had coaching experience. So I’ve done everything possible to try to prepare, short of actually being an assistant (coach),” Kerr had said.

“But I wasn’t gonna take that step to an assistant position, so I’ve tried to do everything else possible to prepare for this. I’ve been training camps with a lot of different coaches. I’ve spent time with (Gregg Popovich) and his staff (in San Antonio)…I’m just trying to pick a lot of people’s brains, people who’ve been in the position before and make sure that I’m going in with as much knowledge as I can and as many ideas as I can,” he  said.

Kerr would not divulge how he feels about the team’s roster and what appeals to him about the possibility of coaching the Knicks, who fired Mike Woodson shortly after the season ended. But Kerr reiterated his interest in becoming a head coach and said that coaching the Knicks and working for Jackson, his coach while playing for the Chicago Bulls, intrigues him.

“Oh yeah, how could it not?” he said. “It’s the Knicks and Phil Jackson, my coach. I would be crazy not to look into it.”

ron-harper-clippersKerr’s former teammate Ron Harper, who played with him in Chicago, also expects Kerr to sign up for the coaching job with the Knicks.

“A few guys are expecting to hear from him. We’re in a wait-and-see mode. Whatever he needs me to do, I will do. He knows that,” Harper said, NY Post reported.

Harper, who lives in Wayne, N.J., works part-time for the NBA doing overseas camps and also helps run a basketball program called Overtime Sports in New Jersey. He was a Pistons assistant coach under Flip Saunders for two seasons in the mid-2000s after playing 15 seasons in the NBA. But he hasn’t been an NBA coach since 2007.

“One thing Phil wants to do is teach what he knows and teach the triangle,” Harper said. “I know it like the back of my hand, inside out, and he knows I love the game.”


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