He could have been living in the New York metropolitan area, pondering his first year as the New York Knicks’ head coach. Their 17-65 record helped secure the fourth pick in last week’s NBA draft lottery. Maybe the pick could have eventually helped salvage the less than negative balance of his introductory coaching season.
Instead, Steve Kerr is on the verge of taking the Golden State Warriors to the NBA Finals. Rebuking the Knicks’ coaching offer for the Warrior job was a great decision. His team had the league’s best record. He coached the Western Conference All-Stars. He coaches the NBA’s MVP, Stephen Curry. They only lost two regular season home games. They led the league in points per game (110) and assists (27.4), but let’s hold off before handing Kerr the NBA chip and a coronation.
Although they were able to go three up on Houston in the Western Conference finals, the Warriors couldn’t close it out Monday night in Game 4. You can credit the 45 points of MVP runner-up James Harding, who was making up for his subpar performance in Game 3, an embarrassing Rockets defeat.
“James had a phenomenal game,” coach Kevin McHale stated succinctly.
Motivated, Houston scored 45 points in the first quarter, whereas they didn’t get their 40th point in Game 3 until the third quarter. The near injury to Curry, midway through the second quarter of Game 4, required some observation, though he was able to return to play. This may have had some effect on the outcome as well, but take nothing away from Harding.
Either way, even if Kerr were up 3-2 with a Warrior team that he, very luckily, inherited from their fired former coach, New York favorite Mark Jackson, and had to go back to Houston for a Game 6, Kerr’s future now, on paper, far surpasses what possibly would have been his future here and now with the New York Knicks.