Steve Kerr is indeed the favorite to coach the Knicks in 2014/15, a source tells Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News first suggested earlier this month that there was a decent chance Kerr would replace Mike Woodson after the season, and there’s been plenty of speculation surrounding the TNT broadcaster and former Suns GM since. Many around the organization quickly came to believe that Kerr would take over on the bench with his former coach, Phil Jackson, installed as team president, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported.
The latest news is a further blow to Woodson, though there has long been little hope of him continuing to coach the team beyond 2013/14, even though the Knicks picked up his 2014/15 option before the season. New York is just a game and a half out of the playoffs, but Woodson’s charges have spent much of the season plumbing the depths of the Eastern Conference after a 54-win season and a trip to the conference semifinals last year.
Kerr hasn’t given his broadcasting colleagues the sense that he’s ready to leave his gig, and he’s refused to discuss the possibility of taking the Knicks job, but he said prior to the season that he could envision becoming a coach and he recently reiterated that point. Jackson, who would have run basketball operations for the Kings had they moved to Seattle last year, had reportedly convinced Kerr to coach the team in that circumstance. The Zen Master also strongly encouraged Pistons owner Tom Gores to hire Kerr last summer, though Detroit wound up picking the since-fired Maurice Cheeks instead.
The Warriors apparently would also target the 48-year-old Kerr, who’s never coached before, if they part ways with Mark Jackson this summer, so the Knicks may have some competition. Speculation has linked many other names to the New York job, so if Kerr decides against taking it, the team probably won’t be short on alternatives.