Steve Kerr shocked the entire NBA landscape on Wednesday night (for better or for worse), when he accepted a five-year offer from the Golden State Warriors (for $25 million) to become the team’s next head coach. As such, he subsequently turned his back on Phil Jackson and the Knicks.
Now, President Jackson and co. are left to turn to plan B. But as fate would have it, there isn’t exactly a clear cut solution in sight. Instead, the Knicks will explore various options, none of which, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, include some of the more experienced coaches available for hire.
Names like Nuggets’ head coach Brian Shaw and Clippers’ assistant Tyronn Lue have once again resurfaced. Though Jackson’s new hire is expected to come from some out of the box like thinking, one could suggest it will be neither of the aforementioned coaches. Both have previous experience and were, still, nevertheless, overlooked in favor of Kerr. If they weren’t up for serious consideration beforehand, perhaps it’s unlikely Jackson will turn to either one at this point. There has to be a reason he chose to overlook each of his two previous disciples and target Kerr instead.
From here on out, choices like Thunder guard (and likely retiree at the end of this postseason) Derek Fisher and Los Angeles D-Fenders’ assistant Luke Walton (both of whom previously played for Jackson) are among the options.
Given the options available (including the ones Jackson has chosen not to pursue), it should be clear that whomever the Knicks’ President ultimately tabs to be the next Knicks’ coach, it’ll be a former player of his.
His attention to those with whom he is already familiar with (all the while turning his back on those more experienced coaches) should be more telling than just about anything else having to do with this coaching search and Jackson’s preferences.