Golden State Warriors

Warriors steal Steve Kerr away from Phil Jackson and the Knicks

I guess this means you can ignore my post about the Warriors’ search for a coach from earlier in the day that included all those weird dating innuendos. Then again, you had probably already done that since there were two baseball games going on at the same time I published that story.

This is absolutely fantastic news for Joe Lacob and the Warriors … for now. Not many expected Steve Kerr to spurn Phil Jackson, but he did. The Warriors brass flew east to Oklahoma City yesterday in a last-ditch attempt to sway Kerr, who’s had a relationship with the Lacobs for several years. It seemed as much like a “hey, we did all we could” PR stunt than anything approaching an actual power move, but Lacob looks pretty powerful.

Joe LacobFor now.

Lacob fired one head coach who had no coaching experience when he was hired, and turned around and hired another. Like Mark Jackson, Kerr comes from land of broadcasting. Unlike Jackson, he didn’t get through his TV career with a list of catchphrases that sounded good but didn’t really mean much, like “knockdown shooter,” “mama, there goes that man” or “hand down, man down.”

Kerr isn’t much for oft-repeated schlock, which will make him an instant hit with the local media. He played for a few decent teams and worked in Phoenix’s front office before his latest television stint, so he’ll have the players’ respect. There are now two major questions:

1. Can he coach?

2. Are the Warriors the kind of team that will thrive using the Triangle offense?

Much of the attention will fall on Stephen Curry (or “Stephen Kerry,” as people have already started calling him). But this move may benefit Andrew Bogut most of all. Bogut and Jackson never saw eye-to-eye, and not just literally. The Warriors starting center is absolutely perfect for the Triangle, because he’s probably the best passing center in the league.

Now that Lacob has his guy and proved just about everyone wrong (including yours truly, as seen in the post from earlier today), it’ll be interesting to see if he takes a step back. If he’s content, will he give up his courtside seats and grab a couple chairs a few rows behind the Warriors bench — close enough to see exactly what’s going on, but not at an angle where his body language is in constant view for every player and coach?

Or, is this going to embolden Lacob to take on an even flashier role? Some of that might be up to Kerr, who may not mind an owner whose fandom is as passionate and in-your-face as Lacob’s. Most observers who are familiar with the Knicks figure that James Dolan was the figure that kept Kerr away from New York. Lacob may still be feeling his way through things as an owner, but he is no Jimmy Dolan. Especially now.

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