On Wednesday, the Golden State Warriors took care of their coaching vacancy by hiring former Chicago Bulls great & TNT color analyst Steve Kerr to be the new head coach after firing former coach Mark Jackson last week.
Kerr, who has displayed an interest for two seasons in coaching, will be going to a team that is ready to be a contender for an NBA Championship. With Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, David Lee & a healthy Andrew Bogut, the Warriors can be a force in the league this coming season.
The issue is that the Warriors have been down this road before. Steve Kerr has never been a head coach in the NBA, or any level of basketball. He has been the President & General Manager of the Phoenix Suns, & that was met with mixed expectations.
No question that Kerr knows the game & knows what it will take to win. Listening to his commentary on TNT, Kerr knows the Xs & Os of the game as good as anyone in the business today & has the ability to be a great coach, especially with the Warriors. The team is located in Oakland; he is from California, his daughter is an athlete at Cal, his son is in high school in southern California, so its an easy transition for him.
What Kerr will have to figure out is whether he can work with the Warriors front office, who got rid of Jackson because Jackson wouldn’t kiss up to the higher-ups in the organization, & ruffled some egos along the way. However, he won games. He made the team competitive.
Kerr has to win, & win big & win now. If the team takes steps back in any way, the Warriors brass will be ready to get rid of him quickly. The ownership group that recently bought the Warriors want a championship immediately, & made that clear by getting rid of Jackson after the Warriors made the playoffs as a 6-seed & winning 50 games this season.
Steve Kerr is going into a better situation than he would have been in with the New York Knicks, which is where many insiders thought he was going to go, especially with Kerr’s former coach, Hall-of-Famer Phil Jackson is the President of Basketball Operations. It was thought that Jackson would help Kerr out by teaching him how to coach the triangle offense, the offense that got Jackson 10 NBA Championships in his coaching career – 6 with the Chicago Bulls & 4 with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Warriors did not have Kerr as the only man they were looking at for this position. New Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy was also in the mix for the job, but wanted complete control over basketball operations, & the way the Warriors front office runs, there was no way they would give that up to a coach.
The Pistons gave complete power to Van Gundy, Kerr gets the coaching job, but both have the same contract, 5 years, $25 million dollars.
Steve Kerr is a smart guy. He will be successful with the franchise, especially with many players growing up watching him his big time 3-pointers on those Michael Jordan-led Bulls teams & the great San Antonio Spurs teams, so the instant credibility is guaranteed. The Warriors are considered the best show in the NBA, Steve Kerr, if his coaching style is anything similar to his style as a player, will be fun, exciting & hopefully lead to wins.
If not, the same story will be told next NBA offseason.