Latest News, NBA / May 14, 2014 / 9:29 pm

Report: Steve Kerr Jilts Jackson & Knicks To Sign With Warrriors

Steve Kerr, Marv Albert

Steve Kerr, Marv Albert (Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)

The Warriors lost out on Stan Van Gundy yesterday, which increased their urgency to move forward in discussions with a head coach thought to be off the table. Despite multiple reports saying Steve Kerr was close to signing on with Phil Jackson to coach the Knicks, TNT first reported that Kerr will instead sign with the Warriors.

David Aldridge of NBA.com first reported thew news by way of TNT, and ESPN New York’s Ian Begley quickly followed with the numbers behind the 5-year contract. Kerr’s agent Mike Tannenbaum confirmed the agreement to the Bay Area New Group’s Diamond Leung:

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports the Warriors amplified their pursuit of Kerr the moment they lost out on Stan Van Gundy — thought to be their top choice — to the Pistons. Detroit conceded to Van Gundy’s wishes to also be named head of basketball operations.

The Knicks even dangled guaranteed fourth year, thought to be the biggest roadblock so far holding up the deal. But Kerr didn’t bite, and agreed to a 5-year, $25 million deal with a superior team — in terms of personnel and this year’s record:

The Warriors management group lost out on Stan Van Gundy when he accepted a $35 million deal Tuesday to run the Detroit Pistons, and flew to Oklahoma City the same day to meet with Kerr. The Warriors left more convinced of Kerr’s readiness to coach the franchise, league sources said, and Kerr had a chance to further familiarize himself with the entire Warriors front office.

After the Warriors resumed their pursuit of Kerr, Jackson and the Knicks made a concession in negotiations, agreeing to guarantee the fourth year of their offer. The Knicks had resisted guaranteeing the fourth year for weeks, holding firm on three guaranteed years and a team option for a fourth year until consenting to Kerr’s wishes late Tuesday, league sources said.

Within the Knicks organization, there was a sense a deal with Kerr wouldn’t get done until the team met that concession. For a franchise that has long shown little inhibition in delivering lucrative management and coaching contracts, the Knicks’ negotiations with Kerr seemed to be far more restrained.

So the Knicks, those bastions of thrift, have played it close to the chest on the negotiations with Kerr and didn’t want to lock themselves into a long-term deal. They waited until Golden State started making inroads with Kerr to even offer up the fourth guaranteed year, but the Dubs went one year better, and now Steve Kerr is Golden State’s coach. Kerr’s daughter also plays volleyball for UC-Berkeley, so he’ll be close to her, which seems to the icing on the cake he’s agreed to sign with the Warriors.

Kerr has zero head coaching experience in the NBA and has only served as Phoenix’s general manager from 2008-2010 before stepping down. Kerr still owns a small (less than 1 percent) stake in the Suns, which he’ll have to sell before assuming his new role with the Dubs.

Did the Knicks screw up in their attempts to get Kerr, or is Golden State just a better job?

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  • BC

    anyone who has doubts about his leadership ability just needs to remember that this is the guy who punched michael jordan in the face to earn his respect. he gets chemistry and locker room dynamics, and he’s a leader of men. he’ll have assistants to figure out all the X’s and O’s

  • Kwaku Danso

    Ummm MJ cracked Kerr in the grill so let’s try that theory again…

  • 2cents

    Jury is out on the signing of Kerr, but I have a feeling Phil Jackson would have done more if he wanted Kerr that badly. Or being the Zen Master he is, maybe it was his game play to hype up Kerr and will now pull out an awesome coach from his magic bag of tricks.