New York Knicks president Phil Jackson said during a meeting with reporters Friday that Steve Kerr verbally committed to taking the team’s coaching job a day before accepting the Golden State Warriors’ offer.
Jackson acknowledged that Kerr, a San Diego resident, wanted to stay in California and that the Warriors have a better roster to work with than the Knicks do.
According to Jackson, the two were so deep into negotiations that he even told star forward Carmelo Anthony that Kerr would coach the team, confirming reports that surfaced at the time.
In addressing the search for a new coach, Jackson said he has not spoken to candidates Brian Shaw or Derek Fisher, both of whom played for Jackson when he coached the Los Angeles Lakers. Jackson wants to hire someone with whom he has previously worked.
Jackson said Fisher is on his list of candidates, but he is unsure if Fisher even wants to coach.
It has been suggested that Jackson coach the team for a season while grooming a replacement, but he said he does not want to do that, citing his health.
Jackson said he cannot coach “at this point, unless the lord heals me.” The 68-year-old has had chronic hip and knee problems. He also had prostate cancer surgery in 2011.
Finally, Jackson said he does not expect the search to continue into July.
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