- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here’s what we know as of Thursday afternoon on the Steve Kerr front:
According to two sources with knowledge of the proceedings, Kerr has the support of Golden State management but some of the players have expressed support for Stan Van Gundy. That schism may help lead Kerr toward settling on the Knicks job.
Kerr on Thursday was believed to be home in San Diego with his family. One of Kerr’s friends on Thursday said he was in the process of “collecting information” to make a decision.
The Warriors, according to a source, are hoping that Kerr's ties to president Rick Welts will "bring [Kerr] over since they are so close."
Kerr is close to Warriors owner Joe Lacob, son Kirk Lacob (who works in Golden State's front office) and Welts, with whom Kerr worked closely while general manager of the Phoenix Suns.
In addition to the Knicks and Warriors, the Utah Jazz are also said to be interested in Kerr, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Sources have maintained throughout the process that the Knicks are the favorites to land Kerr. Though that may change during Kerr’s meetings with his family.
One source with knowledge of the Kerr negotiations said Thursday that his family would prefer that he sign with Golden State.
But if money plays a factor, it would surprise many around the league if the Warriors outbid the Knicks and owner James Dolan.
The Warriors are well aware the Knicks have another advantage over them in their pursuit of Kerr: the presence of team president Phil Jackson.
Kerr won three championships under Jackson in Chicago and the two have remained close since Kerr’s playing days ended. They both talked recently of sharing a strong “connection” and similar ideas about the game.
At least one member of Golden State’s hierarchy is wary that Kerr is using the Warriors as leverage with the Knicks.
As noted Wednesday, Golden State, according to sources, is trying to sell Kerr on the benefits of coaching a team coming off a 51-win season. The Warriors also have one of the best backcourts in the NBA in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
"They're selling the situation more than the money because they know they can't outbid [Knicks owner] James Dolan," the source said.
The Warriors, according to the source, will also point out that other Knicks coaches who have worked under Dolan, including Larry Brown, Lenny Wilkens and Mike D'Antoni, have been fired or resigned. The thought process behind pointing that out is this: If that happened to experienced coaches, then what will happen to Kerr, who has never coached before?
But one source close to Kerr believes that his ties to Jackson will outweigh that factor.
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