After the Golden State Warriors fired Mark Jackson, the their top two candidates to replace him were Steve Kerr and Stan Van Gundy.
Kerr has no coaching experience but has been on championship teams throughout his career with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. He also has experience in the front office with the Phoenix Suns as a general manager from 2007 to 2010. It is believed when Kerr becomes a coach in this league, he will run the “Triangle Offense” which was made famous by Phil Jackson. Jackson, now the president of the New York Knicks, has made it known that Kerr is his number one option and it has been reported that the Knicks and Kerr are close to an agreement.
With Kerr out of the picture, the Warriors made Van Gundy their top priority. Van Gundy has had lots of success throughout his coaching career, leading his team to seven postseason appearances in eight years. He was pushed out in Miami and resigned, a year before they won their first NBA championship under Pat Riley, Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade. He led the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009, losing to Jackson’s Lakers. His tenure came to a close in Orlando due to his issues with Dwight Howard and he was relieved of his duties.
He seems like the perfect coaching candidate for the Warriors as a proven winner but now it has been reported that Van Gundy is nearing a deal with the Detroit Pistons. Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted Van Gundy has been offered a five-year deal for $35 million. The sticking point with the Pistons deal is that they have offered Van Gundy complete control in the organization, something the Warriors weren’t able to offer.
This is not a surprise that Joe Lacob and Bob Myers would not give Van Gundy complete control, because why would they? Lacob has brought this team from one of the laughing-stocks of the league to a perennial postseason contender while Myers has been his right hand man acquiring pieces like Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bogut and Jermaine O’Neal. The Warriors made the right move in not giving Van Gundy complete control of all basketball operations because their front office is secure and one of the best in the entire NBA.
Will that be an issue with other candidates going forward? Perhaps but Lacob has also made it known that he will pay top dollar if warranted and money talks. Van Gundy will come to Oakland in a second if the Warriors offered $40 million for five years regardless of whether he had full control of basketball operations. If he doesn’t come, there will be plenty of other candidates who will gladly be part of this organization.
The Warriors coaching vacancy is one of the most sought after positions in the NBA and if the Warriors can’t get Kerr or Van Gundy to occupy that space, Lionel Hollins, Fred Hoiberg, and Nate McMillan will want this position. So Warriors fans, don’t worry about the coaching position because more coaches want this position than not and will run a free-flowing offense to get this team to the next level. Or the Warriors will just sign Kerr and it will be over. No matter what happens, we should be confident that front office will find its man and he will lead this team to success.