Mike Woodson out and Steve Kerr in? That seems to be the most logical conclusion drawn by anyone who follows the NBA now that the New York Knicks have officially canned Woodson. Kerr, a TNT announcer who also called games during the NCAA Tournament, used to play for Jackson in Chicago, but has no head coaching experience. He was briefly the GM of the Phoenix Suns for three years, but didn’t accomplish much.
Let’s say that Steve Kerr tells Jackson thanks … but no thanks. I love this cushy announcing gig where I get to banter with Marv Albert and when I’m done calling a game, that’s it, no stress, see you tomorrow. What might be Jackson’s plan B?
Here are a few names Jackson could consider:
* Brian Shaw. Currently coaching the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers passed on Shaw a few years ago because he was a “Phil Jackson guy” and given LA’s struggles post-Jackson, would it really surprise you if he started to rebuild the Knicks as Lakers-East? Lamar Odom has already been signed.
* Robert Pack. Currently an Oklahoma City assistant coach. Quietly getting the label of “point guard whisperer” and Chris Paul raves about him. He’s probably too young to get this high-profile a gig, but pair him with experienced assistants and you might have something.
* Tom Izzo. Currently coaching Michigan State. The Spartans are losing a ton of talent, and there seems to be a rebuilding job ahead of Izzo. He’s come close to leaving for the NBA before … is this finally the right time? It seems like a longshot he’d leave East Lansing for Manhattan, though. Izzo turns 60 next January. He’s probably much more likely to be connected to the Minnesota Timberwolves opening.
* Fred Hoiberg. Currently coaching the Iowa State Cyclones. He’ll be an NBA coach in the next few years, the only question is which forward-thinking GM wants to pull the trigger. I’ll spare you the small town vs big city junk, but echo the last line above on Izzo: The Timberwolves would be crazy not to give The Mayor a serious look.