The Golden State Warriors lost in the first round of the playoffs, but they pulled off the biggest shocker of the postseason by convincing TNT analyst Steve Kerr to accept their offer to be the team's next head coach -- which required Kerr to spurn his former head coach, Phil Jackson, and the New York Knicks.
Kerr, 48, was Jackson's first and only choice to replace Mike Woodson, and for the last couple of weeks, everything pointed toward Kerr joining Jackson, now the Knicks' president of basketball operations, in New York. But Kerr was overwhelmed by the Warriors' talent base, their west coast address and a last-minute pilgrimage the team's brain trust made to Oklahoma City on Monday to change his mind.
Frankly, I don't see what everyone's so surprised about and that Kerr was Jackson's only candidate at the time in many respects exposes why Phil Jackson's arrogant nature might be a liability in the front office.
Yes, Kerr played for the Zen Master and has nothing but the utmost respect for Phil but the Knicks job is just not that appealing of a situation.
For starters, there's no guarantee Carmelo is going to stay and other than the Syracuse product the Knicks just do not have much to offer to prospective free agents looking to win.
They have very few upcoming draft picks and New York is hamstrung by Amare's ridiculous contract for one more season.
That means that if Carmelo stays they wouldn't really be players in the free agent market for another year and Carmelo will be 31 years of age. According to this chart, in all probability that would mean he would be in the rapid decline portion of his career.
Golden State, on the other hand, has a lot of younger talent who are less likely to jump ship with the exception of Klay Thompson. Thompson is a bit of a wild card because he's a free agent in 2015 and if someone offers him a max contract it would not be in Golden State's best interest to offer him the max because he's simply not worth that kind of money.
As a coach Kerr brings substantial basketball lineage to the table. He played on one of the best NCAA teams not to win a title in 1988 alongside one of the all time greats in college basketball Sean Elliot.
He won five NBA rings, three with the Bulls under Jackson and two with San Antonio under Greg Popovich. Both geniuses at incorporating role players around superstars to make for great winning team basketball.
Mark Jacson seemed to rely on Steph Curry down the stretch a little too much in big games and he's a great scorer but he's not Kevin Durant.
Kerr's first priority will probably be to bring in a point guard that will allow Curry more room to move without the ball and for the Warriors to not have such a stagnate one on one offense.
Having never coached the one area Kerr might struggle with at times is Xs and Os but I'm sure he'll bring in top notch assistants and picked up plenty on that end having played for Pop and Jackson.
All in all I think Kerr was an excellent hire but I still do not believe Golden State are title contenders without making some changes (see point guard point above).
The Spurs still probably have another year with Duncan and Kawhi Leonard is turning into a beast.
Also, if the Clippers sign Paul Pierce that's another complementary piece to DeAndre Jordan and Blake griffin who are both 25. Chris Paul is 29, but point guards, especially PGs who rely more on basketball IQ as opposed to sheer athleticism, often times have longer productive runs in the league than your average player.
Finally, I really don't see them overtaking the ultra-talented Thunder overall in the next year or two.
Steve Kerr was an excellent hire for the Warriors but they're still a couple of pieces away from truly contending which is definitely not music to the ears of the Warriors front office or fans.
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