Ever 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 and now that his former boss occupies the Knicks front office, it’s an opportunity that makes sense from both sides. Kerr doesn’t have experience coaching, but that hasn’t stopped others from making the transition from the booth to the sidelines with some modicom of success (see Mark Jackson).
Just how close is Kerr to accepting the Knicks coaching job? He’s not making it a secret that he’s had discussions with Phil Jackson and that more will take place.
Via the New York Daily News:
“We talked about the coaching position and we’ll keep talking,” Kerr told the Daily News on Sunday on his way into Barclays Center, where he called Game 4 of the Nets-Raptors series for TNT. “I’ve made it pretty clear the past couple of years that I’d like to get into coaching, and now it’s sort of out there. It’s like anything else, you have to explore it and that’s what we’re doing.”
Kerr’s broadcast schedule means that the process is taking a bit longer than normal to play out, though. He made it clear that he loves what he does with Turner, but that he has to scratch the coaching itch:
“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). I’ve been working for Turner (Sports), it’s a dream job, I love what I’m doing.
“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 went to Bill Parcells last summer. 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.”
If Steve Kerr is putting that much time and effort in the offseason into doing his homework on being a head coach, then it’s only a matter of time before he leaves the broadcast booth. All signs are pointing towards him being the next Knicks head coach and Marv Albert was even dropping some playful hints at the job opening in last night’s telecast.
If it does happen, then Kerr’s departure will be a blow to Turner Sports. Ever since departing the Phoenix Suns front office, Kerr has grown into one of the best analysts in sports. Not only has he done an excellent job alongside Marv Albert for the NBA on TNT, but he’s also added that expertise to the NCAA Tournament as well. At least they have an interesting list of potential replacements to choose from…