Finding the Catalyst

Written by Nicholas McGowan

It can be sometimes hard to find the truth, in the case of the Knicks; it is always hard to find the truth. Behind the strict media policies that supposedly all Knicks employees must agree to, there seem to be a few people who continue to leak out information. For instance, a few days ago media reports had Steve Kerr joining the Golden State Warriors. Yet today I saw a report from CBS Sports that read “Steve Kerr seeking five-year, $30 million deal from Knicks. It’s amazing to see the drastic change from Kerr to Warriors to Kerr to Knicks. Remember when the word out of the Knicks was that they wanted to ink Kerr to a deal in early May? I do, yet today is May 12th and the longer this head coaching search drags out, the more possible landings spots for Kerr open up. The OKC Thunder who just blew a 16 point lead, might fire Scott Brooks, and if the Indiana Pacers lose (looks as though they will certainly play Miami at this point) there will certainly be rumblings about the security of Frank Vogel. The Knicks need to lock up Kerr now if they believe he is the man to lead the Knicks to a championship. The Knicks cannot afford to lose him, if a better situation pops up, one that is both better than the Warriors and Knicks situation, Kerr might bolt there. Since recent reports have Kerr coming to Knicks, I figured we should have some idea as how he might do as our coach.

Steve Kerr’s post NBA career began by joining Marv Albert in calling games for TNT. From there he took over as the general manager of the Phoenix Suns. He later resigned from that position and again joined TNT as a commentator. Despite Kerr being a NBA executive, I do not think that will offer much help in his future coaching career, I however think that by analyzing the success of former Phil Jackson protégé Brian Shaw will give us some insight into from Kerr might do as our coach. Brain Shaw in an interview called Phil Jackson his biggest weakness, sighting the fact the triangle offense was what he played in and what he coached in Los Angeles. Shaw does not other offenses as well as the triangle, will Kerr be able to make changes to offense that better the team or will he stick with the only system he knows? Shaw also led the previous 57 win Denver Nuggets to a meager 36 wins this year, his first year with the team. This is due to a number of factors. First, the Nuggets were devastated by injuries, Danilo Gallinari did not play at all due to a torn ACL and Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler each missed 20 games, are vital pieces of the Denver rotation. Another reason to the poor season was this was in fact the first year that the Brain Shaw worked with the Nuggets, he had to teach the triangle offense, he changed the complexion of the high octane Nuggets offense, and not for the better. While judging Shaw after this year might be unfair, it does give us a glimpse into how Kerr might look. Consider this worst case scenario, Kerr becomes coach this summer, but lets say that Carmelo Anthony leaves, the Knicks win only around 20-25 games and we get a lottery pick. Next year would be considered very disappointing  and we therefore retain none of our pending free agents that summer. Only Shumpert, Hardaway Jr, Felton, and Smith, would be on our roster. We then need to add another 8 players at minimum. Kerr would have to teach the triangle offense twice, probably not looking at the best win totals in this scenario becomes real. Would we as Knicks fans then call for Kerr’s head? Would Dolan then take matters into his own hands and fire Kerr without consulting Phil? Would we then to hire another coach? A lot of questions, yet there are very few answers. There is no real idea of what Kerr will be like as a coach yet we hope that he can lead us to better result than this season. We need him to hit it out of the park and take our team to the playoffs no matter who is on our roster.

With the other big name coaches out there, not getting Kerr would not be ideal yet we would still have a wide range of options. Mark Jackson, Lionel Hollins, Avery Johnson, or the perhaps one of the Van Gundy brothers, would all seem to be good choices for the Knicks. We just hope that Steve Kerr is not a good choice but instead a great choice for the Knicks.

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