Steve Kerr shocked more than a few basketball watchers when he signed a five-year, $25-million deal with the Warriors after a long and public courtship by the Phil Jackson, the head of basketball operations for the Knicks. Now Kerr’s TNT announcing partner, Marv Albert, tells the New York Daily News his thoughts on the Knicks when Kerr asked his opinion.
It should be noted, Marv was terminated from his 37-year broadcasting position with the Knicks in 2004 after owner James Dolan became unhappy with Albert’s criticism of the team. Bob Raissman at the New York Daily News delves into Marv’s termination and reports Kerr asked Albert’s opinion despite his sordid history with the franchise a decade ago:
So, Kerr probably knew Albert was fired by the Gulag boss in 2004. Dolan thought the broadcaster was too critical of the Knicks. After he dumped Albert, Dolan started spinning, attempting to make the voice look greedy, saying the split was all about money. Dolan said another reason for the dismissal had something to do with Albert not attending Knicks practice sessions (we’re not kidding) and his desire for Albert to be more of a “fan.”
Albert, the voice of the Knicks for 37 seasons, knew just what Dolan is capable of doing. In two conversations with Kerr, it was Albert who delivered the word.
“Well, I told him it never ends well there. Just look at recent history. It’s because of one man (Dolan),” Albert told me Thursday over the telephone. “There is no happiness there. I say this with all kinds of friends I have there and (the ones) at the MSG Network. Everybody hates being there. For coaches it’s very difficult. Steve couldn’t accept anyone (from MSG’s PR staff) following him around with a tape recorder. Like Phil, Steve is a guy who wants to say what he wants to say,” Albert continued. “He’s very opinionated, which doesn’t always work when you are at the Garden.”
Raissman goes on to describe the diligent way Kerr went about researching his decision, talking to any-and-every person that has been, or currently is, associated with the franchise. In the end, Kerr stayed closer to his family in San Diego, his daughter at University of California—Berkeley and a higher likelihood of a less-fractious relationship with the Warriors ownership group.
Kerr almost overlooked all the flotsam floating around Dolan’s Knicks because Phil is in place, but in the end, he chose Golden State. Raissman alludes to a Knicks that’s now hard-pressed to find a second option, even as rumors swirl of possible candidates.
Phil knew what he was getting into, but it’s worth pondering whether the left-over stank of Dolan’s meddling and the rest of the New York media circus might be too much even for the Zen Master?
Who do the Knicks hire to coach?
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