When Steve Kerr jilted Phil Jackson and the Knicks by agreeing to become the Warriors’ head coach, many, if not most, observers thought that the move made a lot of sense. After all, Kerr is a West Coast native, still has his family there, and, as an NBA analyst for TNT, has been perfectly positioned to notice that Golden State has a much better-looking roster.
In addition, Kerr is represented by Mike Tannenbaum, formerly the general manager of the Jets but now an agent at Priority Sports and Entertainment. Tannenbaum, fired by the Jets on New Year’s Eve in 2012, knows a thing or two about how tough it can be to work in the Big Apple, and he surely passed along some thoughts to his client.
But now we find out that someone just as close to Kerr, and with an even better understanding of what the former Bull was considering walking into, definitely had some advice to offer: Marv Albert. And the legendary announcer — recently Kerr’s partner on TNT telecasts — absolutely crushed the Knicks.
Albert, who called Knicks games for over three decades before being fired by team owner James Dolan in 2004, had this to say to Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News:
“Well, I told [Kerr] it never ends well there. Just look at recent history. It’s because of one man [Dolan]. There is no happiness there. I say this with all kinds of friends I have there and (the ones) at the MSG Network. Everybody hates being there. For coaches it’s very difficult. Steve couldn’t accept anyone (from MSG’s PR staff) following him around with a tape recorder. Like Phil, Steve is a guy who wants to say what he wants to say. He’s very opinionated, which doesn’t always work when you are at the Garden.”
So if Kerr was wavering at all on which job to take before hearing from Albert, that chat certainly must have gone a long way toward pushing him away from New York. For Albert, even though he has had a decade to get over being dumped by the Knicks, that also means that if he was inclined to get revenge on Dolan, the dish he served had 10 years to get nice and frosty.