Following the very public firing of coach Mark Jackson, the Golden State Warriors have signed Steve Kerr to a five year, $25 million coaching contract.
The Warriors and Kerr struck the deal Wednesday night (May 14), as they beat out the New York Knicks (now manned by team president Phil Jackson), which were also in talks with the former NBA player. Since Kerr and Jackson’s relationship dates back three historical championship seasons with the Chicago Bulls in the mid to late 90s, most assumed that the former TNT broadcast table analyst would align with his former coach.
Kerr told NBA.com that signing on to coach the Warriors “just felt like the right move on many levels,” because his his daughter plays volleyball at the neighboring University of California, Berkeley, his oldest son is in college in San Diego and his youngest son is a junior in high school.
Though the opportunity to coach in New York City was “tantalizing” and it was “agonizing” to turn down Jackson’s offer, but Kerr feels like he made the right decision.
“I told Phil, ‘I think I have to pursue this other opportunity,'” Kerr explained. “He gave me his blessing. He said. ‘Go look at it, and do what was in my heart.'”
Kerr has adopted a winning situation. The Warriors are coming off a 51-win season, consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in 20 years, and have a certified superstar in Stephen Curry and a talented supporting cast of teammates. However, the team had a phenomenal relationship with Jackson, though gripes with the front office lead to his termination.
It’ll be interesting to see how Steve Kerr takes on his new role in the 2014-2015 NBA season. Give us your thoughts on the coaching change in the comments.