Phil Jackson Tells ‘Melo He Expects To Hire Kerr

Knicks president Phil Jackson told Carmelo Anthony that he fully expects to hire Steve Kerr as the team’s coach, according to Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal. Herring hears that the newly minted executive never mentioned the idea of anyone else coaching the team during his meeting with the soon-to-be free agent this week. Jackson plans to be “visible and available” on the sidelines during training camp, as he told Anthony in an attempt to dispel any concerns the Knicks star might have had about Kerr’s inexperience as a coach, Herring writes.

The Lakers don’t view Kerr as a candidate for their coaching vacancy, believing he’s too far along with the Knicks, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post. The Knicks have been wanting to close on a deal with Kerr shortly after the first round of the playoffs concludes this weekend, but Kerr reportedly doesn’t want to go so fast. The TNT broadcaster met with Jackson this past weekend, but he said that he and Jackson still had plenty more to discuss.

Multiple reports suggested that Kerr would prefer to work for a team on the West Coast, but more recently Lute Olson, Kerr’s college coach, said that he didn’t believe that was the case. Sources told Ken Berger of this week that Kerr doesn’t intend to use other openings as leverage against the Knicks, or vice versa, and will either accept or reject the Knicks job on its own merits, given his loyalty to Jackson, who coached him on the Bulls in the 1990s.

Jackson also spoke with Anthony about his plans for free agency this summer, and Herring hears that Anthony wasn’t upset by Jackson’s recent remark that he hoped ‘Melo would be “true to his word” about accepting a discount to re-sign with the team. Still, the meeting suggests that Jackson is nonetheless planning a strong recruiting effort to keep the high-scoring forward in New York, Herring writes.

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