Anytime the New York Knicks are looking for a new head coach, there’s going to be drama. They’re in New York after all, and the franchise is no stranger to gossip and theater.
In the last few weeks, it seemed TNT broadcaster Steve Kerr was on his way to New York to be the next coach of the Knicks and work under Phil Jackson, who coached Kerr on the Chicago Bulls in the 90s. All the reports coming out indicated that it was all but a done deal. They may not have signed anything yet, but it sure seemed like Kerr was going to be the next Knicks coach.
But then all of a sudden, the Golden State Warriors–who had also been looking for a new coach–announced that they had signed Steve Kerr to be their next head coach. It came as a shock to mostly everyone, as media and fans across the country thought the Warriors were out of the running for Kerr.
So of course then came reports from the Knicks and Jackson that Kerr had agreed to a deal and that his move to the Warriors was shady. It was a national game of “he said, she said” that left everyone looking petty.
Recently, Kerr decided to come out and clear the air, saying that although they were close, he had never agreed to a deal with the Knicks.
Steve Kerr, in response to Phil Jackson’s remark that he had “a commitment” from him to coach the Knicks, didn’t dispute the Zen Master, saying “we were very, very close’’ and “I thought I was coming there.”
Nevertheless, Kerr said there was not a deal done when he jumped at the Warriors offer of five years and $22 million.
Kerr said Saturday night one roadblock was his TNT commitment made it tough on negotiations, and he met with Jackson only once, as they communicated mostly over the phone, making it “tricky.’’
“It’s not inaccurate,’’ Kerr said before broadcasting possibly his final game for TNT Saturday night in Game 6 of the Oklahoma City-San Antonio Western Conference finals. “We were very, very close. We never agreed to a deal. But we were very close. Things kind of went back and forth a bit. I thought I was coming there. Phil couldn’t have handled it any better. As I said last week, he knew I had to be 100 percent sure and he gave me the space I needed. It was just a better fit — Golden State.’’
No one except Kerr and Jackson will probably ever know exactly how close they were to a deal or if one had been agreed upon at all. This whole thing just turned into a mess that left no real winners–except the Golden State Warriors.