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Jackson: Kerr committed to Knicks first

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: May 30 2014 04:25:46 PM CDT
Updated On: May 30 2014 05:18:47 PM CDT
Steve Kerr, April 2014

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson said during a meeting with reporters Friday that Steve Kerr verbally committed to taking the team's coaching job a day before accepting the Golden State Warriors' offer.

Jackson acknowledged that Kerr, a San Diego resident, wanted to stay in California and that the Warriors have a better roster to work with than the Knicks do.

According to Jackson, the two were so deep into negotiations that he even told star forward Carmelo Anthony that Kerr would coach the team, confirming reports that surfaced at the time.

In addressing the search for a new coach, Jackson said he has not spoken to candidates Brian Shaw or Derek Fisher, both of whom played for Jackson when he coached the Los Angeles Lakers. Jackson wants to hire someone with whom he has previously worked.

Jackson said Fisher is on his list of candidates, but he is unsure if Fisher even wants to coach.

It has been suggested that Jackson coach the team for a season while grooming a replacement, but he said he does not want to do that, citing his health.

Jackson said he cannot coach "at this point, unless the lord heals me." The 68-year-old has had chronic hip and knee problems. He also had prostate cancer surgery in 2011.

Jackson said he does not expect the search to continue into July.

Jackson also told reporters that he has asked Anthony to reconsider his plan to become a free agent this offseason

Opting in would give Anthony the option of going somewhere else in 2015 if Jackson's Knicks fail to attract a co-star for him.

Jackson said the two have talked about the possibility, and that Anthony said he would "think about it."

"I told him it might be a good idea to hang in here and see what it's like for a year and go out the next year," Jackson said. "But that's his option, that's what he's earned, and that's what's part of his contractual agreement. He has the right to do that. But I just offered that as, 'Look, this gives you an opportunity to see how this is going to change, see how we're going to get going, your relationship to the team and the coach and the system or whatever, the system we impose.'"

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