Steve Kerr ‘courted very hard’ by Phil Jackson, Knicks in 2014
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr played for Phil Jackson as a member of the Chicago Bulls from 1993 to 1998. Apparently, he was also nearly hired by Jackson to be the head coach of the New York Knicks.
Former Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk reflected on the series of events that led to the Dubs hiring Kerr ahead of the 2014-15 season, saying Jackson — who was president of the Knicks at the time — “courted” Kerr “very hard”.
Schlenk also said the Dubs even believed Kerr would end up in the Big Apple.
“Steve was being courted very hard by Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks,” Schlenk said on 95.7 The Game last week, via Alex Didion of NBC Sports Bay Area. “And at one point during the process, it felt like that’s where he was going to go. And so we didn’t think that we were going to even have an opportunity to really sit down and talk with Steve.
“And I believe it was while we were meeting with Stan down in Orlando, that Steve called Bob and said he kinda had a change of heart and he wanted to meet with us.”
“We didn’t think that we were going to even have an opportunity to really sit down and talk with Steve.”
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) May 20, 2020
Steve Kerr is probably glad he had that “change of heart.”
After winning five championships as a player, Kerr has since added three rings with the Warriors while having the opportunity to coach one of the greatest dynasties in league history.
The Knicks, meanwhile, spun out of control shortly after failing to hire Kerr. Jackson wound up hiring another one of his former players in Derek Fisher, who was a big failure. Fisher’s replacement, Jeff Hornacek, was not much better.
Jackson was eventually fired in June of 2017, and New York’s front office has continually drawn the ire of the fans in recent years.