According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the biggest reason the Knicks were unable to reel in head coaching target Steve Kerr was the initial offer from Phil Jackson to the now-Golden State Warriors head coach.
The Post has learned Jackson’s initial offer to Kerr was a lowball of three years, $13.2 million. That offer stuck for more than a week before the Warriors got involved Tuesday. Kerr wound up agreeing to terms with Golden State on a five-year, $22 million contract — not the $25 million that was widely reported.
Had the Knicks originally offered Kerr five years, $22 million — $4.4 million a year — he probably would have closed the deal before Golden State could reenter the fray. Jackson only bumped the offer to four years in response to Golden State’s offer.
Berman further reported that, according to a source, Kerr was not willing to move across the country to coach the Knicks for less money than he could get coaching the Warriors.
Now, with Steve Kerr unavailable, Phil Jackson and the Knicks are forced to look elsewhere to fill the head coaching vacancy.
Per Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, the current front-runner for the position is Derek Fisher, who, like Kerr, has no head coaching experience but played under Jackson and knows the triangle offense. Of course, the Knicks would be unable to seriously pursue Fisher until as late as mid-June, as the 39-year old is currently playing in the NBA Playoffs for the Oklahoma City Thunder.