OKC, Golden State, Indiana…Kerr’s Options Soon?

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    Updated: April 25, 2014
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    Steve Kerr could quite possibly be the New York Knicks next head coach. Mike Woodson was recently let go by new President of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson. Now it’s time the Knicks move in a new direction and it seems the coaching job is Kerr’s to turn down.

    Kerr has a relationship with Phil Jackson so the partnership makes sense, but Kerr may want to wait and see what other jobs may come available. In the next two weeks there may be a number of jobs that I would say are better than the Knicks job, and Kerr may be better suited not in Madison Square Garden.

    The obvious choice for Kerr would be the Knicks job for all the above-mentioned reasons. He knows Phil Jackson, and he wants to coach some time soon. If the rumors of all the coaches getting the axe in the near future are to be believed, Kerr may be able to interview for some high-profile jobs, and every location has young stars ready to take their game to the next level.

    Mark Jackson of the Golden State Warriors, Frank Vogel, and Scott Brooks of the Oklahoma City Thunder, of the Indiana Pacers are all rumored to be on the hot seat, in one degree or another. 

    Steve Kerr’s Possible Landing Spots 

     

    Golden State Warriors 

    Mark Jackson’s tenure in Golden State seems to be a successful one on the surface, but for most of the 2013-2014 season, Jackson has made it apparent he feels unwelcomed in Golden State.

    There are rumblings of Jerry West not being too enamored with Mark Jackson and his coaching style for whatever reason, and if Jackson does not make a deep run into the playoffs with this Warriors team, he is going to be fired.

    The Warriors won 47 games in the 2012-2013 season, and improved that total by 4 wins in 2013-2014 season in a ridiculously tough Western Conference. Apparently for Golden State management, that’s not a coaching resume worth keeping. This could be a great first job for Kerr.

    He would inherit two of the best shooters in the NBA with Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, a very good front-court of David Lee and Andrew Bogut, and a world-class Olympian defender in Andre Iguodala. The chance to coach Steph Curry alone is worth trying to get that job. Kerr was a shooter, Curry is the premier shooter in the league; so I can see the two of them having a great player/coach chemistry. 

     

    Indiana Pacers: 

    Well, that went south rather quickly in Indiana now didn’t it? There are going to be ESPN 30 for 30’s, NBA TV documentaries, and E! True Hollywood stories about the debacle that is the Indiana Pacers if they don’t get to the NBA Finals this season. 

    The Pacers don’t even look like they can make it to the Eastern Conference Finals let alone the NBA Finals, and that’s insane to think about. Where did it all go wrong for the Pacers is still heavily speculated, but what we do know is that in sports when monumental collapses happen, someone has to be blamed.

    Unfortunately it’s usually the General Manager and the coach who are the first to go. But this Pacers situation seems to me to be the doing of Larry Bird and his constant meddling of the Pacers roster.

    Yet, Larry Bird isn’t the person on the hot seat, it’s Frank Vogel…funny how that works. Before Bird did his best Dr. Frankenstein impression with the roster, Vogel’s team was 40-12 going into the all-star break and the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

    For some reason, Bird felt it necessary to add head case Andrew Bynum to the Pacers to make sure the Miami Heat didn’t get their hands on Bynum first. Then Bird went out and traded for a high volume/low percentage shooting wing scorer in Evan Turner at expense of locker room big brother Danny Granger. Brilliant.

    And now we have this, a terrible pacers team low on confidence and soon, low on head coaches. Kerr could be what the doctor ordered for this team. Kerr has rings, so he brings experience of being a winner with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs.

    He’s played for two of the greatest coaches ever in Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich so he’s surely picked up knowledge from them. And he will also be coaching under Larry Bird who will know that he might be the real reason behind the Pacers debacle, so Bird will think twice before tweaking the next coach’s roster too much. 

    Kerr would have Paul George who could be a great player if he would focus on basketball and have someone to get his confidence to a supremely high level. Kerr played with Michael Jordan, the greatest of all-time, as well as the greatest power forward ever in Tim Duncan.

    Kerr could easily go to George and tell him that he can help him elevate his game so he could be the Pacers version of those greats. Kerr would have a lot of work to do though with Roy Hibbert.

    Hibbert’s confidence is shot and he’s a liability on the court at this point. There was a time when Hibbert was in the conversation of best centers in the NBA, now, he might not be the best center on his own team if Bynum was healthy.

    Kerr would have to get both his young stars to buy into what they can become ultimately under his tutelage, and get them back to playing the basketball they were playing before this Indiana Pacers downfall. Good Luck with that if Kerr goes the Pacers route. 

     

    Oklahoma City Thunder 

    Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to coach this team? For starters Kevin Durant is either the first or second best player in the NBA depending on the year and whom you talk to.

    Durant’s wingman is Russell Westbrook who happens to be one of the 5 best point guards in the Association. Add a really good player like Serge Ibaka into the mix and you have the ultimate basketball contender.

    Scott Brooks has had the pleasure of coaching all three of these fine players for quite some time, and has even made it to an NBA Finals once. Brooks could have possibly made it to another NBA Finals last season had Russell Westbrook been healthy.

    But now, the Thunder are struggling early in the playoffs and the word is from ESPN’s Bill Simmons that Scott Brooks may lose his job if the Thunder have an early exit from the playoffs or if they don’t ultimately lift the trophy.

    I feel that’s a bit harsh but the NBA is not a nice place. With Durant and Westbrook on your team, the expectations are high and failure is not something that can be tolerated for too long.

    Now, I personally think firing Brooks would be a mistake because he is a smart coach and knows how to get the best out of his team. But whenever they come up against the Grizzlies, or any team that is a bad match-up for them, they seem to lose all sense of what makes them great.

    And this may ultimately cost Brooks his job. It would be Brooks’ loss and possibly Steve Kerr’s gain. If this job becomes available Kerr should pull whatever strings possible to get an interview with Thunder GM Sam Presti.

    Kerr is a smart man and has been around men that know how to run efficient offenses. That is what the Thunder lack. OKC has no half court set and rely far too much on what Westbrook and Durant can and should provide for them.

    It’s like watching an And 1 game when watching the Thunder sometimes, and although they have the most talented young duo in the sport, it’s all for not if there isn’t an offense built to support them.

    Again, I have watched a lot of Thunder basketball and I have seen them play exceptionally well under Brooks. But fast breaks and quick baskets only work in transition of course, and if the opponent doesn’t give your team those opportunities, then you’re left with bad shots and no continuity. 

    Kerr would have to implement a system where Russell Westbrook gets his teammates involved more and for the ball to get into KD’s hands a lot more, especially in the post. Why Kevin Durant is not sitting in the post and just burying a smaller defender is beyond me.

    That’s on the coach to drive the point to his star to change that facet of his game to take advantage of the mismatch. The notion that Durant is a jump shooter and should just stick to shooting perimeter shots is absurd.

    He’s 6’11; he must use height it to his advantage. Scott Brooks may not recognize it, but Kerr will surely not make that mistake. 

    In the next few weeks there may be a slew of head coaching jobs open, all of which would be very appealing to any coach. It’s widely know that Steve Kerr has a high basketball IQ, and although he could ultimately choose the Knicks, he should wait on these jobs first because every one of them is better than coaching with James Dolan as your owner. And that’s not debatable.

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