The Golden State Warriors are reportedly moving off Steve Kerr and onto Stan Van Gundy as the replacement at head coach for the recently fired Mark Jackson. Reports have Kerr too deep in the process with the New York Knicks and basketball maven Phil Jackson to back away now.
The Warriors aren’t completely out of the running for Kerr, as both team owner Joe Lacob and team president Rick Welts have strong personal relationships with him, and Oakland is considerably closer to Kerr’s San Diego home. Then again, New York has the bright lights of Broadway and the media capital, the world’s biggest stage in Madison Square Garden, and the opportunity to work with – and learn from – Jackson.
While Van Gundy might be the W’s second choice, he’s no joke. Van Gundy has had successful stints at both Miami and Orlando, and took the Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009. His career coaching record is 371-208, and seven of his eight teams have made the playoffs, with five of them moving past the first round.
The pressure will certainly be on the Warriors and their next coach. Jackson was popular with the players and led the club to back-to-back playoff appearances, something of a norm in many NBA cities, but definitely a rarity in the east Bay. The pressure will be on for the team to make a strong, concerted run at the championship.
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