Coaching Rumors: Kerr, Ollie, Thibodeau

Stephen Curry went on the record in his support of new Warriors coach Steve Kerr, telling Marcus Thompson of Bay Area News Group he’s on board despite the star’s frustration with the firing of Mark Jackson. “I just want to see [Kerr] build that relationship with the players. To be able to get the most out of us,” Curry said. “We’re in good hands. I’m not worried about that. He just has to develop his coaching style. I agree with the decision [to hire Kerr].” Here’s more on the coaching front:

  • Sources tell Marc Berman of The New York Post that Phil Jackson isn’t ready to consider himself as a candidate for Knicks coach in the wake of Kerr declining to join the Knicks.
  • Jerry West thinks Jackson should coach the Knicks if his health will allow, he told Marc Berman of The New York Post. West added that Jackson will have to change his demeanor as an executive to be as successful as he was as a coach.
  • West acknowledged to Berman that Stan Van Gundy was the Warriors‘ first head coaching choice over Kerr.
  • Kerr tells Berman in a separate piece that he received Jackson’s blessing to meet with the Warriors while deep in discussions with the Knicks, and that the Zen Master wasn’t bitter with his eventual decision to choose Golden State over New York.
  • Kevin Ollie is having his resolve to stay at UConn tested by strong interest from an unnamed NBA team, a league source tells Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News“A team has come at him hard,” the source said. “He’s always preferred UConn. But he may have a decision to make.” 
  • Nick Friedell of expects speculation around Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau to linger until the coach signs another extension with Chicago, even though Thibodeau has three years remaining on his current deal. Both Thibodeau and GM Gar Forman declined to comment on rumblings of tension between the coach and front office, increasingly fueled by other teams’ plans to pursue Thibodeau.
  • Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak continued to downplay Kobe Bryant‘s influence on L.A.’s coaching search, telling Andy Katz of the star’s wishes to be involved won’t be catered to. “He really won’t weigh in on something like this,” said Kupchak. “I’m not even sure that we’ll talk to him prior to interviews.”
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