Steve Kerr has been open about his interest in coaching in the NBA. (G Fiume/Getty Images)
Long before the Knicks fired Mike Woodson on Monday, the rumor mill churned with speculation about Phil Jackson's choice for New York's next coach. Perhaps the biggest name mentioned for a while now has been Steve Kerr, who played for Jackson in Chicago.
With Woodson's dismissal now official, Kerr spoke freely about potentially joining the Knicks. During his weekly radio show on SiriusXM NBA Radio, the former Suns general manager and current TNT analyst candidly shared his thoughts on the Knicks' vacancy (via Ian Begley of ESPN New York):
"I do anticipate talking with Phil Jackson at some point," Kerr said. "When that time comes, it will come. For now, there's really not a whole lot to talk about."
"It's going to be very interesting. My name is being thrown around. I do anticipate at least being a part of the conversation and we'll see where it all goes."
Kerr, 48, hasn't coached at any level, but he is held in high regard around the NBA. He hasn't hid his desire to try coaching.
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"I've been pretty open about that the last few years and obviously that's one of the reasons that this is all out there," Kerr said. "When the time comes, I'll be interested."
Kerr served as Phoenix GM from 2007-2010, when the Suns went 155-91 (.630) in three seasons. Coaching the Knicks would be a very different proposition, though. In fact, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports that Kerr is already expressing internal concerns about some of the functions of the job.
What concerns Kerr, according to a source, is whether he can be successful at Madison Square Garden, a place that has destroyed careers and ruined reputations under Garden chairman James Dolan. What Kerr wants to know is why a franchise with so many resources has won just one playoff series in 14 years and why so many before him, including Hall of Fame coaches Lenny Wilkens and Larry Brown, have failed.
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Even with Kerr's reservations, his comments and actions suggest that he believes he is (at minimum) on the short list of candidates and has already begun evaluating the position.