Based on his relationship with the New York Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson, it seemed like the perfect fit for TNT analyst Steve Kerr. He could have been reunited with his former coach and shared his experiences as a general manager while Jackson teaches him about his new role.
However, Kerr shockingly decided to accept a head coaching position with the Golden State Warriors. Location may be the main reason why Kerr chose to begin his coaching career on the west coast. Despite working two hours away from his home in San Diego, he is much closer to his family as a Warriors coach rather than working across the country in New York.
Now with Kerr out of the mix, who will Jackson choose next? If he plans to hire an experienced head coach who lives in the New York tri-state region, two names come to mind.
Currently an analyst for ESPN, PJ Carlesimo would be an honorable choice for head coach. He has been a head coach in the NBA for seven seasons with multiple teams. He won three NBA championships as a part of Gregg Popovich‘s coaching staff with the San Antonio Spurs. He had also led the Brooklyn Nets to a 35-19 record in 2012 and led them to their first postseason berth in five seasons.
Lawrence Frank could be another potential candidate. He currently works behind the scenes for the Nets. He was in Jason Kidd‘s coaching staff until heated exchanges between the two had banned him from coaching from the sidelines. He had previously coached Kidd when the team was in New Jersey and brought the team into the playoffs for four straight seasons. Frank was also the lead assistant coach for the Boston Celtics under Doc Rivers for the 2010-11 season.
If Jackson decides to choose a coach that he’s very familiar with, Jim Cleamons would be on the top of the list. He had been Jackson’s right-hand man for 17 years as an assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Some may believe that Kerr was the best man for the job, but Cleamons may actually be a better fit. He has been coaching for over 30 years, but he never had the chance to be the head coach under Jackson’s rule. Jackson might actually hire a head coach that knows the triangle offense just as well as he does, or at least better than Steve Kerr.