The cloud of confusion surrounding Phil Jackson’s possible future with the New York Knicks is getting thicker and thicker. The media is speculating about a man joining a new, undefined position in the front office with a not-yet-fired-or-replaced Steve Mills just kind of lurking around. Jackson’s potential job description, whatever it may be if it even comes to fruition, would include finding a new head coach, according to the latest New York Knicks rumors.
According to Bill Simmons, Steve Kerr would be a candidate for Jackson:
Frank Isola also backed up this notion.
Simmons does make a great point about Kerr in that video: he spent significant times with Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich, two of the all-time greatest coaches. That sort of experience is sure to rub off on a guy, and Kerr, despite a limited skill set as a player, was always valuable for a. being good at that limited skill set, and b. bringing intangibles to a team, like leadership, knowledge of the game, etc.
For three years, Kerr was the GM of the Phoenix Suns and was relatively successful in his time there. The Suns finished with an above .500 record all three years, including two playoff appearances and one Conference Finals trip. He made some ill-advised trades, like dealing for Shaquille O’Neal, but he was also dealing with a roster that needed upgrading in some ways. He was good, not great.
Does all that really translate to coaching? In his current role as a broadcaster, Kerr seems insightful and aware, which are certainly good qualities for a head coach. But, like the potential Jackson hire, this is based on giving a guy with zero experience a major role with the Knicks.
It’s all a lot of smoke until the Knicks actually handle business in a formal fashion. That is, making room for Jackson in a role that currently doesn’t exist, figuring out what that role is as it pertains to James Dolan and Steve Mills’s jobs, and dealing with Mike Woodson, who is, y’know, still head coach of the Knicks.
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