Tuesday, April 22, 2014
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Steve Kerr played for Phil Jackson in Chicago, they dine together when TNT basketball assignments put Kerr in the same city and there is no pretending the hypothetical coaching conversation between them would be a new one.
That said, Kerr voiced caution to those predicting his next move is to become head coach of Jackson’s New York Knicks.
“I do anticipate talking with Phil Jackson at some point. But when that time comes it will come but for now there’s really not a whole lot to talk about,” said Kerr, via XMRadio, while on assignment for the first round of the NBA playoffs as a TNT basketball analyst. “We’ve remained close over the years, since he retired from coaching, even while he was coaching the Lakers, I would often have dinner with him on the road if I was playing for another team even, just to catch up. I went to his daughter’s wedding a few years ago in Montana. We’ve been very close.”
Kerr was rumored to be a prime candidate for Jackson long before coach Mike Woodson was officially fired by the new Knicks president on Monday. Kerr has never been a coach, but worked as general manager of the Phoenix Suns upon his retirement from the NBA as a player.
“I’ve known for years that Phil wanted to do this — not necessarily in New York,” said Kerr. “I thought he was going to end up in Seattle last year if the Kings had moved to Seattle to become the Sonics — but I knew that he was done with coaching, that he was more interested in being a team president and building a franchise. And I think he’ll be very good at it. It’s going to be very interesting and obviously my name is being thrown around. I do anticipate at least being part of the conversation and we’ll see where it all goes.”
Jackson will do much of his work remotely in California and Kerr, a San Diego resident, might not be ready to uproot for a permanent East Coast address. He has a daughter in college at Cal-Berkeley and if another job — such as Golden State or with the Los Angeles Lakers — becomes vacant, Kerr might draw interest.