Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr engaged in a Q&A with ESPN’s Ethan Strauss in the lead up to the team’s Game 2 outing against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.
It was most definitely an interesting interview, as Kerr opened up to the venerable NBA scribe.
One of the most intriguing parts of the conversation took place when Kerr was asked about the potential of coaching for a team that was going to pick in the lottery, namely the New York Knicks.
“Exactly. Trust me. I was waiting, I was gonna wait for a good team. The Warriors obviously were a complete surprise, that that job opened up. I was lucky that it did,” Kerr said. “I’m a hard loser. I do think having the success that we’re having now will allow me, and all the stuff I’m going through physically health-wise, I think I will be better equipped to handle a different situation.”
The Kerr to New York dynamic nearly came into play prior to him taking the job with Golden State following the 2013-14 season.
Seen as a likely destination, New York offered Kerr two major opportunities. First off, his former coach Phil Jackson was making the decision for the Knicks. Secondly, New York represents the nation’s largest media market.
As someone who had no coaching experience at all, working under an individual he was comfortable with had to seem like a perfect situation for Kerr.
Though, it primarily came down to winning. Once the Warriors found out that New York couldn’t close the deal with Kerr, they got involved big time. In this, Kerr opted for the squad that was coming off two consecutive playoff appearances.
This couldn’t have worked out any better for Kerr and the Warriors as they look to win their second consecutive NBA title.
For the Knicks, the decision to hire another former Jackson pupil in Derek Fisher back-fired big time. He was fired mid-season after less than two full years as the team’s head coach.
Interestingly enough, this all comes on the heels of Warriors assistant Luke Walton, also a Jackson pupil, deciding to take on the job of rebuilding the Los Angeles Lakers.
Prior to agreeing to coach the Warriors’ division rival, it was reported that Walton had no interest in New York.
Such is the nature of the beast when you are a fledgling franchise without much hope of contention moving forward. Kerr knew that back in 2014. Walton this past spring.
It will be interesting to see just how the Knicks go about their next hire and who it might be.