Advice to Dolan: Dismiss Kerr Like He Dismissed You. Hire Mark Jackson to Coach the Knicks

2SteveKerrSteve Kerr turned down the Knicks for the Golden State Warriors. Can you blame him?

So what are the Knicks going to do about it? The smart thing to do, if Jim Dolan was inclined to make the smart move, would be to issue a statement wishing Kerr luck in his first career coaching job. And make sure to mention that it is his first coaching job.

Kerr is a nice guy and everything, but he isn’t the creme de la creme of available coaching candidates.

And Dolan should strike like a viper and hire the best available guy, the guy out of Bishop Loughlin, St. John’s and the Rick Pitino/Stu Jackson/Pat Riley eras at Madison Square Garden. The guy who got fired last week.

This Kerr moment — the news coming at halftime of the Brooklyn-Miami playoff game, making the Knicks seem even tinier by comparison — screams for a reaction from the Knicks. But don’t expect one. Dolan’s policy is always to say as little as possible. As in nothing. If he was smart, he’d call Harvey Araton and give the New York Times an exclusive. But Dolan is not that kind of smart.

Just my opinion, and Mr. Dolan is welcome to take the advice, but this is the time — and there has to be a first time sometime — for Dolan to change the game.

The Knicks job remains one of the marquee jobs in the NBA, and the challenge for Dolan is to find someone who might not be able to match Kerr in likability, but who knows how to coach. You know, a track record? A guy with one of those.

MarkJacksonLike Mark Jackson.

The guy whose team just won 51 games. The guy whose team might have made it to the second round, or farther, if Andrew Bogut had been healthy.

You want to stick it to Joe Jacob and Jerry West and Bob Myers and Rick Welts, Mr. Dolan? Go hire their old coach. He’s a New Yorker. He served two stints as a player with the Knicks, and he was beloved. He also ran alongside Reggie Miller, and was hated.

He’s a lightning rod, and he’s the perfect candidate to start a rebuilding process that, in all reality, will truly begin a year from now in the summer of 2015 when the Knicks will have cap room as the contracts of Amare Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani and Tyson Chandler come off the cap. Until then, they’re going to stink. And even if they don’t stink, they’ll never get past the Heat. And everyone knows it. They don’t even have a draft pick next month. First round or second round.

With one bold and decisive move, the Knicks could be run by not by one Jackson, but by two, with Mark giving Phil an assist in convincing Carmelo Anthony to stay.

Everything begins with that move, and until the ‘Bockers find out what Anthony will do, they are in an organizational holding pattern. And until they hire a coach, they will get shown up every time a Stan Van Gundy or a Steve Kerr or a Jeff Van Gundy or a Byron Scott lands elsewhere.

Kerr made Dolan look bad Wednesday night.

Dolan can make Kerr look like an afterthought with a quick countermove.

Hire Mark Jackson, and nobody really cares why Kerr chose Oakland over Manhattan (the upcoming move to San Francisco probably didn’t hurt the Warriors’ pitch). Hire Mark Jackson, and you get a guy who can go metaphor to metaphor with one of the NBA’s most eloquent and intelligent commentators. Hire Mark Jackson, and you get a point guard directing the team in a city of point guards, which New York basketball fans like to consider themselves. Kerr? He was a shooting guard. New York’s playgrounds don’t produce shooters, they produce point guards.

Get this thing done in 24 hours, Mr. Dolan, and you seize the day. It’s real Carpe Diem stuff this time. Phil just got here. You can’t let Steve Kerr show him up. The Nets just got knocked out by the Heat. So see if you can get on the same page with Phil, and go get your second Jackson, Mr. Dolan. You’ll definitely hit the ground running in Year #1 of the Phil Jackson administration.

Chris Sheridan is publisher and editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter.




  1. qtlaw88 says

    As a Ws fan, I appreciate what Jackson did for them but making a spiteful hire of Jackson will only hurt the Knicks and not the Ws. Lacob had a plan all along and he saw that thhe Ws had max’d out with Jackson as coach and needed someone to go forward. Its classic venture cap vision; tell the founders thanks but we’ll take it from here. No guarantees it works now but at least there’s a plan in place. Its like Billy Martin in baseball; he was a great turnaround guy but you were not going to win the WS with him (well he did win in ’77).

  2. jerrytwenty-five says

    I always believed Mark Jackson would be the best hire for Knicks. However, because of the Phil Jackson hire, that won’t happen. It seems that PJax only wants someone that he can control, and will be receptive to the Triangle. Mark Jackson is too much of an independent thinker and doesn’t want anyone controlling him (not Dolan, not PJax).

    John Paxson was mentioned as Phil’s top choice now, but based on his history, I don’t think Paxson will agree. “The New York Knicks will also “consider” Derek Fisher and Kurt Rambis to become their next coach.” per twitter quote (at halftime of Nets-Heat game).

    And with Kerr spurning the Knicks, Melo has more reason to feel that PJax has no magic to turn around Knicks. I fully expect Phil to expect Melo to take a nice discount for the privilege of remaining a Knick (more arrogance) I don’t think Melo will be happy to hear that. In that case, Bulls could probably offer about the same (over 19 million to start, in a 4 year contract). All Bulls have to do is Amnesty Boozer and trade Dunleavy to a team with cap space (he is a desired player). Hinrich could be re-signed with MLE after Melo is signed. There is no need for Bulls to do a S&T with Knicks to get Melo. No need for Bulls to give up any picks.

    • jerrytwenty-five says

      Point of Irony: A main reason for the ability of Bulls to afford Melo, is the $5 million increase in the salary cap. That increase can be in part attributed to all the luxury tax payments of Dolan’s arch rival, Mikhail Prokhorov. Looks like Proky will have the last laugh as he forced Knicks to overpay for Melo in the first place, and now will have a hand in Knicks losing Melo to Bulls (getting nothing in return).

  3. says

    Jackson was beloved when he was the ROY, but then NYers turned on him the next season when they saw Strickland was better.. And after Strickland was traded for Cheeks, Jackson sat on bench for 48 minutes in Game 5 in Boston as Knicks won 3rd straight to defeat Celtics. I remember it all, OK?

  4. Richard says

    Mark Jackson was never beloved in NY as a Knick. Knick fans hated his obnoxious behavior and he was run out of town in favor of Rod Strickland. That was a mistake, but nonetheless he was not beloved.


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