The best offer the Knicks made Steve Kerr was for four years and $20MM with incentives, reports Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter links), well short of the five-year, $25MM deal he wound up with from the Warriors. It was even farther away than the five years and $30MM the Mike Tannenbaum client reportedly would have liked. The Knicks insist team president Phil Jackson, and not owner James Dolan, held the line on their offer, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, who adds that while Dolan wasn’t pleased with Kerr’s lack of coaching experience, he would have approved the hire. A friend of Kerr’s told Berman that the new Warriors coach likes the Spurs flow offense, leading Berman to suggest that Jackson’s insistence on the triangle might have been a stumbling block for Kerr.
In any case, it’s on to Plan B for New York, and here’s the latest on who might coach the team now that Jackson’s No. 1 choice is no longer an option:
- Jeff Van Gundy indicated that he would consider coaching the Knicks, as part of his remarks in an appearance today on ESPN Radio with Colin Cowherd, notes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Still, he doesn’t appear to fit the profile of the sort of young coach with ties to Phil Jackson that the team is seeking.
- The Knicks will also consider Luke Walton, report Shelburne and ESPN.com colleague Marc Stein. The team is mostly likely to hire a younger coach with whom Phil Jackson has worked in the past.
- The Knicks will also see if there’s a compensation package that would interest the Nuggets in allowing Shaw out of his contract, Shelburne and Stein write in the same piece. Shaw would have been even with Kerr, if not higher, in the eyes of the Knicks had he not already been employed in Denver, the ESPN scribes hear.
- There’s no indication that Phil Jackson will pursue an established coach like Mark Jackson or Tom Thibodeau, despite the fondness that some in the Knicks organization have for the Bulls coach, according to Stein and Shelburne.
- Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg is on the Knicks radar, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard (Twitter link).
- The Knicks will consider Clippers assistant coach Tyronn Lue for their opening, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com, seconding a report from colleague Marc Stein on ESPN’s SportsCenter. Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis and Thunder guard Derek Fisher will also draw a look from the Knicks, as we passed along earlier.
- Brian Shaw, a former Lakers assistant under Jackson, tells Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post that he will remain as head coach of the Nuggets and won’t pursue any opportunity with the Knicks (All Twitter links).
- A source told Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com last month that Carmelo Anthony, set to hit free agency in July, is high on playing for Mark Jackson. It’s also not out of the question that Phil Jackson would coach the team, Begley writes, though the Zen Master has said repeatedly that he won’t do that.