- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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While he's in town, Kerr might meet with president Phil Jackson to talk about the Knicks' head-coaching vacancy, according to an NBA source.
Kerr is believed to be the front-runner for the Knicks job. Jackson on Wednesday spoke glowingly of Kerr and said he and Kerr share a basketball "philosophy."
While Kerr and Jackson might sit down to discuss the Knicks position in the coming days, they have probably talked about it informally in the past. Jackson began speaking with owner James Dolan about taking over the Knicks back in December. And Jackson on Wednesday said he and Kerr, the former Phoenix Suns GM who won three titles as a player under Jackson in Chicago, talked about coaching as recently as January.
"We meet very similar space about coaching in a lot of ways. I know philosophically, we have a strong connection," Jackson said.
Kerr has never coached in the NBA before but said last week on his Sirius XM NBA radio show that he's interested in coaching. He also said that he expects to hear from Jackson.
Kerr remains close with Jackson. He attended Jackson's daughter's wedding in Montana.
"We've remained close since he retired from coaching. Even while he was coaching the Lakers I would often have dinner with him on the road if I was playing for another team with him just to catch up," Kerr said.
Jackson said Wednesday he anticipates talking to more candidates than just Kerr. He also said he doesn't have a hard deadline to hire a coach. A source with knowledge of the Kerr/Jackson dynamic predicted there wouldn't be any agreement in place in the coming days.
Jackson is believed to be interested in coaches with whom he is familiar. A strong knowledge of the triangle offense also is believed to be a prerequisite.
Others who might draw interest from Jackson include Derek Fisher, Jim Cleamons, Brian Shaw and Bill Cartwright. Jackson ruled out the possibility that he would coach when speaking with reporters on Wednesday.
He said then that he expected to gauge Kerr's interest in the job in the coming days.
"Whether he's able to take a job like this, I don't know. I'll get in the conversation with him later on this month and talk to him about it and see where he's at as far as his desire to coach," Jackson said.
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5dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann