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posted: 5/16/2014 5:18 AM

Jackson must move on without Steve Kerr

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  • With Steve Kerr no longer an option, Phil Jackson, the new president of the New York Knicks, is still looking for a head coach.

      With Steve Kerr no longer an option, Phil Jackson, the new president of the New York Knicks, is still looking for a head coach.
    Associated Press


They say good timing -- or being lucky in life -- can sometimes be better than any skill you possess, and Phil Jackson is the perfect example.

In my eyes, Jackson has always been a terrific businessman with exceptional timing.

Oh, he certainly could coach, but he made it his business to be patient and make the right calculated moves. His approach has served him well, from taking over for Doug Collins to coach the Chicago Bulls and the great Michael Jordan, to accepting the Los Angeles Lakers job with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant.

Jackson also knows when to turn a job down, which he did with the Brooklyn Nets in 2013. He seems to get the things he wants, and now Jackson has full control of the New York Knicks basketball operation at a hefty $12 million a year.

Jackson's next step in his master plan was getting his disciple -- Steve Kerr -- as the head coach.

I had a problem with Kerr being mentioned while Mike Woodson was still the coach; it wasn't a classy move for it to be so openly discussed, and I believe Kerr is culpable here too. But life has been good and nothing was going to stand in Jackson's way.

Or so it seemed until Kerr adopted a little of Jackson's timing style as he debated the Knicks job offer as the Golden State job magically opened.

Kerr accepted the position at Golden State, and the loyal man-in-waiting is no longer an option for Jackson.

Kerr brought up the 3,000 miles it was from his home state to New York, but the distance of the job didn't come up when it was the only one open.

I can't blame Kerr for taking the job with the Warriors. It is a better choice, and Kerr is a smart guy.

Jackson already has had a dust up with owner James Dolan involving replacing people in the organization, and Dolan most likely will continue to be a major problem for him.

Kerr knew the owner's interference would be an ongoing distraction, and was probably grateful he had another option.

Would Phil have been better off holding out for the Lakers gig since Mike D'Antoni is now gone? Sure, Phil got his money in New York, but his first project as the man in charge has ended in a disaster -- he lost Kerr to another team.

Now we hear Kurt Rambis or Jim Cleamons might be possible candidates. Knicks fans must be mortified, and how successful has the Jackson coaching tree been anyway? Certainly neither Rambis nor Cleamons nor Brian Shaw at Denver has been a big success.

Phil better be ready, because he will be judged by a difficult standard, and so far his standard doesn't look good.

A new team in Chicago:

There's a new football league called The Rivals Professional League, and the Chicago Bearcats make their debut in Detroit this Friday night. Check them out at

Program notes:

Follow me on Twitter@ north2north, and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports radio. Catch my show from 7-11 a.m. Sundays, and check me out on iHeart radio or

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at For more, visit

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