Knicks Talk: Could Kerr Spurn Phil?

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By Charles R. Trimble III

When it was first rumored that TNT broadcaster Steve Kerr was Phil Jackson’s first and only choice to be the next Knicks head coach who would have thought that the Warriors and Lakers had similar intentions?url

But that’s exactly where we sit after the resignation of Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, and the surprising although expected dismissal of Warriors coach Mark Jackson. Steve Kerr, with no previous head coaching experience, according to sources has somehow become the candidate of choice for all three high profile jobs.

Kerr, who seemed to be on the verge of finalizing a deal with the Knicks after meeting with Jackson, now has sent out messages that he might have interest in the Golden State job; a job that could allow him to stay on his preferred Left coast, inherit a playoff ready roster, and more importantly, avoid the stress and scrutiny of New York City.

This is where the stature of Phil Jackson has to come in. More than anything Jackson was brought to New York to attract big names with his mere presence and basketball acumen, but if his first target, a perceived protégé in Steve Kerr spurns him, then that becomes a major setback and a dent in the pristine armor of the great Phil, something he fiercely wants to protect.

Never before has an inexperienced candidate have his pick of the litter quite like Kerr currently does. Will he go for the “comfort” of working under Phil Jackson or the opportunity to grow without the specter of a hall-of-fame giant over his shoulder? Only Kerr can answer these questions in which will grow with each passing day as speculation builds.

At this point Knicks fans have already lost out on the playoffs, so losing out on the President of Basketball Operation’s top choice will only add insult to injury. It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out especially if Kerr declines. Will Jackson turn to Derek Fisher? Ron Harper? Bill Cartwright? Only time will tell.

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