The Knicks season ended on Wednesday, but already the New York papers are anticipating a coaching change. Phil Jackson might surprise everyone and bring Mike Woodson back, but the name that seems to come up the most when discussing the New York’s head coaching position, should Woodson be let go, is former Suns GM And five-time NBA champion sniper, Steve Kerr. Now sources reveal he “absolutely expects” to get an offer. Here we go.
Via the New York Post‘s George Willis:
According to a source close to the situation, Kerr “absolutely expects” to be offered the job. “And if he’s offered the job, he’s definitely going to do it,” the source told The Post.
The Post has learned Kerr has had conversations with his bosses at Turner Sports about adjusting his schedule as an analyst during the upcoming playoffs should he be named the Knicks’ head coach.
The veracity of the quote has to be in doubt since Kerr has abstained from mentioning the Knicks job in deference to Mike Woodson. We’re not sure he’s changed that policy just because the season’s ended, but that’s what the sources say.
Three of the championships Kerr won as a player were under Jackson with the Chicago Bulls from 1996 to 1998. He also understands the basic tenets of the triangle offense, the Zen Master’s favorite scheme and something he’s said he’ll try implement with the Knicks at some point.
But Kerr has no head coaching experience at all. Mark Jackson, another coach who had zero experience before taking over in Golden State three years ago, has largely excellent at the helm of the Dubs with back-to-back playoff appearances. Then again, he’s also said to be on the hot seat if the Warriors don’t improve on last year’s Western Conference Semifinal finish.
Kerr’s Turner Sports co-worker, Charles Barkley, doesn’t believe the coach is the problem in New York, says that regardless of who is coaching, they’ll need better players if they want to avoid this season’s disaster.
“I just feel bad the way they treated Mike Woodson,” Barkley told The Post. “The Kerr thing could be interesting, but I don’t know what the player situation is. This league is about players, so it’s going to depend on what he has to work with. He’s not going to do anything better with this team.”
Carmelo Anthony — who will opt out of the final of his contract on July 1 this year to become a free agent, and who the Knicks desperately want to re-sign (they can offer him $33 million more than any other team) — threw his support behind Woodson during exit interviews on Thursday:
“I’ll back [Woodson] if he needs my recommendation. I have nothing bad to say about Mike Woodson. I support him. I as a player had some of my best years under Mike Woodson.” But Anthony added that his decision to come back to New York or move on “Isn’t going to happen overnight.”
Still, after missing the playoffs, the Knicks are a massive project with all sorts of cap restrictions, besides the mammoth contract ‘Melo would expect should he stay. And ‘Melo doesn’t want to take part in a team still building towards title contention: “I feel like we gave away this year,” Anthony said. “I’m not at a point in my career where I want to rebuild.”
Except that’s exactly what Jackson was brought in to do. The questions surrounding the Knicks “beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Should the Knicks hire Kerr and fire Woodson?
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