Everywhere you look, reports say the Knicks and Steve Kerr are very close to reaching a pact that would make him the new head coach. We've been given yet another vague "beginning of the week" timetable and we've been told the Warriors have refocused their search (to more qualified coaches). So if you're left wondering what the hold-up is, it's exactly what you expect. Adrian Wojnarowski took to Twitter while you were sleeping:
Knicks have been slow to overpay Steve Kerr in deal length or salary, sources say. Tried treating him closer to 1st-time coach than a star.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 12, 2014
Recall reports that said Kerr was seeking a long-term deal paying him up to $6 million per year, which is around what Mike D'Antoni got when he became Knicks head coach. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Knicks just pay that outright since coach money doesn't count against any salary cap and James Dolan is rich enough to find dozens of millions of dollars in coat pockets. It appears ownership (and this must be ownership, since Phil Jackson really wants Kerr and has no reason to care about his salary, right?) is pushing back, though, which is reasonable but potentially futile since: 1. Kerr seems to be Jackson's uncontested pick for this job 2. Kerr has other appealing opportunities awaiting if he balks.
Whatever. Layers of whatever. I don't know what to expect from Steve Kerr as a head coach, but if Phil Jackson really wants him, I suppose I'm on board. I like the idea of a coach and president in harmony, and Kerr is very well-regarded. And while I appreciate the idea that people should get paid based on their qualifications, I understand Kerr's got leverage here and don't care at all if James Dolan has to pony up the way he did to hire Jackson. When you do "searches" by aggressively targeting single individuals, these are the decisions you have to make.
If the Kerr negotiations are as far along as the papers say they are, I'd be surprised if the hiring isn't finalized in the next day or two. (But if this falls through? That wouldn't look so hot for the Dolan-Jackson partnership. But I suspect it won't fall through. But if it does! But it won't. But if it does...!?)