Kerr’s agent, former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, is still negotiating with the Knicks but the two sides are optimistic that a deal would be in place early this week. The plan is to have Kerr accompany Knicks president Phil Jackson to Chicago for the NBA draft combine that begins Thursday.
Kerr has been Jackson’s one and only choice since Jackson agreed to run the Knicks two months ago. Jackson and Kerr met face-to-face in New York two weeks ago and have been in daily contact over the telephone.
Although Kerr, a former GM of the Phoenix Suns, has no previous coaching experience, making the jump from the booth to the sidelines is not unprecedented. Doc Rivers and Mark Jackson made the seamless transition.
Jackson prefers Kerr because the Knicks president has previously coached him in Chicago and has remained close to him over the years. Kerr will also run the triangle offense, the system Jackson made famous while winning 11 NBA titles with the Bulls and Lakers.
Kerr has been linked to jobs with the Warriors — who fired Mark Jackson last week — as well as the Lakers and Jazz. And even though Kerr, who lives in San Diego, has expressed a desire to remain close to home, the allure of working with Jackson, a Hall of Fame coach, is why Kerr would rather coach the Knicks.
Jackson fired Mike Woodson as well as the entire coaching staff five days after the Knicks’ season ended. If Kerr does join the Knicks, he and Jackson will work together to assemble a coaching staff.
Jackson has already met with former Knick Bill Cartwright about joining the organization.