In a move that shocked a lot of us who have been following the Steve Kerr coaching rumors, the former NBA player and current TNT broadcaster turned down the New York Knicks to become the new head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Even though New York appeared to be a perfect match for Kerr, it wasn’t meant to be. In all honesty, who turns down Phil Jackson? Apparently, Kerr does for two good reasons.
Kerr is a huge fan of Jackson, like the majority of players who have played under him over the past two decades. He believes the Knicks will get it turned around sooner rather than later, especially with the right guidance. Even though many believed it was his guidance that would be ideal, the fit just wasn’t right for him. On the other hand, Golden State is exactly what Kerr wants in an organization.
“They have a good young team. The location is ideal,” Kerr said in an interview with NBA.com. “My daughter goes to Cal and plays volleyball. My oldest son is in college in San Diego and our youngest is a junior in high school. It’s just a short flight for them.”
Kerr made it very clear from the first day that the coaching rumors came to light that he was interested in staying close to his family. In fact, it was a top priority for him. Being on the other side of the United States in New York is not what he had in mind. Coaching the Warriors gives him a chance to still remain a part of his children’s lives, which is important for any father. It also makes it easy for his family to come visit him whenever they would like without sacrificing too much to do so.
Another important reason Kerr turned down the Knicks to join the Warriors organization is because he believes they can win right away. Hiring someone who has zero coaching experience is certainly a huge gamble, but Golden State is teetering on the edge of becoming the next great team in the Western Conference. Kerr’s proven leadership, experience and high basketball IQ makes him an ideal candidate, one that has to have fans in Golden State incredibly excited.
Some may disagree with the decision to hire Kerr because of his inexperience as a coach. Not to mention, there will be an enormous amount of pressure to win immediately. However, he has been on the sidelines to witness coaching legends Jackson and Gregg Popovich lead teams to NBA titles. That alone has to intrigue the rest of us for what lies ahead.
Picking the Warriors over the Knicks wasn’t the hard part. It will be proving that he has what it takes to lead Golden State through unchartered waters. At this point, we must wait to see if he can prevail where Mark Jackson couldn’t.