Despite all the reports and rumors on Steve Kerr likely to take the head coaching job with NY Knicks, it looks like he has gone in the opposite direction, taking the offer from the Golden State Warriors.
Kerr agreed in principle to be the head coach of the Warriors on Wednesday, a decision that stunned an NBA community convinced the five-time NBA champion would reunite with Phil Jackson in New York.
Kerr, 48, is expected to work out the final details of his contract with the Warriors in the next couple of days and then be introduced to Bay Area media on May 16, or later, depending on his schedule covering the playoff series between the Clippers and Thunder for TNT.
After Warriors executives met with Stan Van Gundy in Florida on Monday and then lost him to a bigger contract and bigger responsibilities in Detroit on Tuesday, they flew to Oklahoma City. That’s where Kerr was preparing to call Game 5 of the series between the Clippers and Thunder, and where the Warriors made a last-ditch appeal that managed to outweigh his meaningful relationship with Jackson, his former coach with the Bulls.
Though Kerr won three NBA titles with Jackson – and two more with San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich – and was deep into negotiations with the Knicks, he decided that location, roster, ownership and contract were ultimately more important.
According to TNT’s David Aldridge, Kerr accepted a five-year, $25 million offer from the Warriors.
Kerr was considered to be the front runner for the Knicks’ head coaching vacancy after new president of basketball operations Phil Jackson made it clear his former guard was the franchise’s top choice for the job.
Golden State’s move to hire Kerr comes one day after another candidate for the job, Stan Van Gundy, accepted an offer from the Detroit Pistons.
Kerr has no head coaching experience, but has been around the NBA since his 15-year-old playing career ended. He is currently serving as a color commentator for TNT, as he has done on-and-off since he retired as a player.
Kerr does have front office experience, serving as the general manager of the Phoenix Suns from 2007-2010. He was the behind trading Shawn Marion to the Miami Heat in exchange for Shaquille O’Neal in 2008.
The Warriors parted ways with former coach Mark Jackson following a first round loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in the playoffs. Jackson compiled a 121-109 record over three seasons, but a rocky relationship with ownership contributed to his firing.
Kerr played 15 years in the NBA, winning 5 NBA titles – 3 with Chicago Bulls (96-97-98) and two with San Antonio Spurs (99, 03).
During his play days, Kerr was considered one of the best three point shooters in the NBA. He led the league in 3-point shooting percentage.
He played in 910 NBA games (30 started), averaging 6.0 ppg in 17.8 minutes per game.Follow @exnbadotcom
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