The New York Knicks are closer to finalizing a deal with Steve Kerr to become head coach of the team, according to the New York Daily News.
Kerr’s agent, former New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum, is negotiating with the Knicks. The two sides are reportedly optimistic that a deal can be completed early this week.
The plan is for Kerr to accompany team president Phil Jackson to Chicago for the NBA draft combine that starts Thursday.
Kerr has been Jackson’s only candidate for the job since Mike Woodson was fired at the end of the regular season. Jackson has centered on Kerr because he coached him with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s. Kerr helped the team win three of their six NBA titles. Kerr has no previous coaching experience but was the Phoenix Suns general manager before becoming an analyst for TNT.
Jackson wants to install the triangle offense, and Kerr is familiar with it. Jackson won 11 NBA championships as coach of the Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.
Kerr, a San Diego resident, would like to stay on the West Coast and has been linked to the Golden State Warriors coaching job. However, he is reportedly even more appealed by the prospect of working with Jackson.
Kerr worked Wednesday’s playoff game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers in Oklahoma City before heading home to make a decision about his future.
Lute Olson, who coached Kerr at Arizona, told the Daily News he believes Kerr can make the transition to coaching.
“There’s no question in my mind whatever he chooses to do he is going to be very successful at it,” Olson said.
If the Knicks hire Kerr, he will be the team’s eighth coach since Jeff Van Gundy resigned in 2001.
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