Could Marv Albert have played a role in Steve Kerr spurning the New York Knicks to take the Golden State Warriors’ head coaching vacancy? According to an interview Albert gave the New York Daily News…kind of. Albert told Kerr of the various issues he had with Knicks owner James Dolan when Albert was the Knicks’ lead broadcaster. Dolan fired Albert in 2004 after 37 years on the job. Via New York Daily News:
Throughout the process, reports surfaced about Kerr researching Garden culture under Dolan, which included conversations with Albert, his TNT partner. “Steve reads everything. This was not something he didn’t know,” Albert said. “But he wanted to get deeper into it.”
So, Kerr probably knew Albert was fired by the Gulag boss in 2004. Dolan thought the broadcaster was too critical of the Knicks. After he dumped Albert, Dolan started spinning, attempting to make the voice look greedy, saying the split was all about money. Dolan said another reason for the dismissal had something to do with Albert not attending Knicks practice sessions (we’re not kidding) and his desire for Albert to be more of a “fan.”
Albert, the voice of the Knicks for 37 seasons, knew just what Dolan is capable of doing. In two conversations with Kerr, it was Albert who delivered the word.
“Well, I told him it never ends well there. Just look at recent history. It’s because of one man (Dolan),” Albert told me Thursday over the telephone. “There is no happiness there. I say this with all kinds of friends I have there and (the ones) at the MSG Network. Everybody hates being there. For coaches it’s very difficult. Steve couldn’t accept anyone (from MSG’s PR staff) following him around with a tape recorder. Like Phil, Steve is a guy who wants to say what he wants to say,” Albert continued. “He’s very opinionated, which doesn’t always work when you are at the Garden.”
During their conversations, Albert said Kerr asked questions, but it was clear he knew “what my whole situation at the Garden was.”
Numerous reports suggest Albert was the guy who talked Kerr out of taking the Knicks job. “That’s not true,” Albert said. “I didn’t know and I didn’t want to know what was going on. Everybody was calling me, texting me looking for information. Steve, on purpose, didn’t give us (the TNT crew) any details.”
Albert also said Kerr “talked to a lot of people about what went on in the Garden.” And while the Dolan Affect was part of his decision, it was just one of a few factors we already outlined. “He was enamored by New York and Phil. It was more Phil than anything else,” Albert said. “I know Steve felt bad when he said goodbye to Phil after making his decision. Steve really did check it out very carefully. To me it (his decision) was a no-brainer.”