Despite former Arizona Wildcats guard Steve Kerr spurning his ex-boss to join the Knicks as head coach and instead choosing to lead the Golden State Warriors, Jackson congratulated Kerr on his new role following his final game as a TNT's analyst on Saturday night.
@SteveKerrTNT great job at TNT Steve. Best wishes for you in your new job. I'll give you an U of A cheer...bear up?— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) June 1, 2014
Jackson, if you recall, thought he was about to hire Kerr, his former player, as the team's head coach. It was so close that Kerr had essentially committed to joining the Knicks, but the Warriors' head coaching opening changed everything, according to NewsDay.
"He committed to me the day before the job opened with Golden State," he said. "So I had to kind of release him to actually go to this job and say you have to do what's right for yourself."
Ironically, the friendly "Bear up" jab at Kerr is a bit of advice Jackson might want to keep to himself. Jackson's next target following the surprising decision by Kerr is Oklahoma City Thunder guard Derek Fisher, who will take his time deciding on his next career move -- this after Jackson put his coaching search on hold to wait for Fisher's season to end.
Kerr is rolling with a shiny roster that includes Stephen Curry and fellow former Wildcat Andre Iguodala. Things are looking up for him.
But if Carmelo Anthony leaves New York this summer and a new coach is stuck with Andrea Bargnani and Raymond Felton leading the team, it's really Phil who needs to bear down. Or up. Or through some rough days ahead.