The entire Golden State Warriors’ brain trust, including owner Joe Lacob, traveled to Oklahoma City on Tuesday to make one final push at landing current TNT analyst Steve Kerr as the team’s next coach.
Kerr was in OKC to work Game 5 of the Thunder vs. Clippers Western Conference semifinals, and despite all the growing rumors about him being set to sign on with Phil Jackson to become the Knicks next head coach once his TV work is done Warriors’ management made certain to be in the house to give him something else to think about.
Earlier in the day, several media outlets reported the Warriors had actually extended Stan Van Gundy a five-year, $25 to $30 million deal, but with NBA coaching openings already in other such places as Los Angeles, Detroit and Cleveland — a deal isn’t a deal until it’s a deal.
For the Warriors, part of the lure in circling back to Kerr seems born of the offer Van Gundy has reportedly also netted in Detroit, where the Pistons are rumored to also be offering him the opportunity to have complete control of basketball operations as coach.
As for Kerr, reportedly the final snag in him granting the Knicks his Hancock stems from their haggling over the length of a deal. The job would be the 48-year-old Kerr’s first as a coach, though he spent three years as GM and president of basketball operations of the Phoenix Suns and won three titles playing under Jackson and alongside Michael Jordan with the Bulls.
The Warriors surprised many by parting ways with veteran coach Mark Jackson, despite him having lead the franchise to back-to-back playoff berths and the most wins (51) the team has posted in nearly two decades.
The 54-year-old Van Gundy has previously coached in Miami and Orlando, where he composed an overall .641 winning percentage and led the Magic to NBA Finals in 2009