Steve Kerr’s agent, Mike Tannenbaum, appeared on ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on Tuesday to talk about Kerr.
Here is part of the Q&A between Tannenbaum, the ex-Jets GM, and Cowherd:
Q: Is Kerr just considering the Knicks' job at this point?
A: Steve’s a really thoughtful guy. He’s weighing all of his options right now. Obviously he has a very close relationship with Phil Jackson, thinks the world of him. And we’ll see where the next couple of days go.
Q: Is he close to making a decision?
A: I would just say that we’re assessing options right now. No new update as of right now. Whatever Steve does, he will be successful and he’s been preparing to coach now for a number of years. ... He’s done a lot of things to put himself into the position that when the day comes and he does coach, he’s done everything he could to put himself in the best position possible to be successful.
Q: What’s his relationship with Phil Jackson like?
A: Tremendous. It’s built on trust and mutual admiration and multiple championships. Anybody that would be interested in coaching, to have someone like Phil, that’s a great opportunity to have [a great teacher] as a resource. With that said, Steve is a very thoughtful, methodical guy. Whatever decision he ends up making, it’s going to be a significant one for the long term so we’ll see how the next few days play out.
Our analysis: Tannenbaum is a skilled negotiator. He's familiar with dealing with the media. Given those factors, you can expect Tannenbaum to be very careful with his words. Essentially, he didn’t reveal much in this interview.
It’s not all that surprising that Tannenbaum would say Kerr is “weighing all of his options” at this point. Tannenbaum would be hurting his own negotiations with the Knicks if he said that his client was only considering New York.
We know Golden State has lost confidence in its ability to land Kerr. Cleveland has a coaching vacancy and its GM, David Griffin, has strong ties to Kerr. But, so far, no information has emerged to tie Kerr to the Cavs' job. So, as we stand on Tuesday afternoon, the Knicks are believed to be the only option Kerr is seriously considering.
Tannenbaum also didn’t offer much in terms of a timetable for the deal other than to say, “We’ll see where the next couple of days go.”
That speaks to the fluid nature of negotiations. Why would Tannenbaum -- or anyone else, for that matter -- commit to a timetable before all aspects of the contract are settled?
As we reported earlier Tuesday morning, contract details are unclear at this point. At one point in discussions, a five-year, $25 million pact was discussed. But that was before Golden State showed interest in Kerr. A source with knowledge of the talks said Monday that the Knicks had preferred to ink Kerr to a four-year deal. But, given the fluid nature of negotiations, that may also change before a contract is signed. That’s what happens in these discussions.
Both sides negotiate, and terms change. This much we all know: there is a deal to be made for Kerr. And, as of early Tuesday afternoon, all indications were that he'd be the Knicks' next head coach. That remained so later on Tuesday. The Warriors are expected to make another run at Kerr, the Knicks are still the favorites to land him.
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