NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Steve Kerr has been rumored to be Phil Jackson’s coach-in-waiting since last month, before the New York Knicks’ new president officially signed on to run the team’s basketball operations.
And it seems that if coach Mike Woodson is fired as expected, Kerr would remain the front-runner for the job. In fact, it may not be much of a coaching search at all.
Kerr, who won three of five NBA titles playing under Jackson in Chicago, “absolutely expects” and would “definitely” accept an offer from the Knicks, a source told the New York Post.
The 48-year-old would be an ideal candidate if Jackson is looking for someone to run his famous triangle offense. Kerr, currently a basketball analyst at Turner Sports, has even discussed with his bosses what would happen with his broadcasting schedule if he lands the job, the Post reported.
Kerr served as general manager of the Phoenix Suns from 2007-10.
Meanwhile, Woodson’s future remains uncertain. Fans called for his ouster throughout the disappointing 2013-14 season, but despite a 37-45 finish and no playoffs, Woodson still believes he’s the man for the job.
Woodson was nowhere to be seen during Thursday’s exit interviews and has no plans to meet with Jackson face-to-face if the Knicks are intent on firing him, according to the New York Daily News.
Woodson will have a phone conversation with Jackson on Friday and the two will either schedule a meeting or work out an exit plan, the Daily News reported.
This season was New York’s first real hiccup under Woodson, but it was a doozy. He took over after the resignation of Mike D’Antoni in March 2012 and led the team to an 18-6 finish. Last season, the Knicks were an Atlantic Division-best 54-28 and won their first playoff series since 2000.
“To be honest with you, Mike Woodson, me and him have become, he’s been a guy I can talk to,” said Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who could leave the team this offseason when he opts out of his contract. “He’s been almost a father figure, a friend, a guy who I can bounce stuff off of. I’ve been a guy he’s talked to multiple times about multiple things, different situations. So when that time comes, if it’s ready for me to step up and take that next step and say, ‘OK, Mike Woodson needs to stay or go’ — I don’t think it would come down to that — but I’ll back him. If he needs my recommendation, whether it’s here or anywhere else, I’ll back him.”
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