SAN FRANCISCO — Warriors coach Steve Kerr had a chance to turn the Knicks’ fortunes around in 2014 but reneged on a verbal agreement. Kerr joked last Friday after the Knicks fired David Fizdale that would have been him a few years ago if he had taken the job.
Kerr knows how it’s become almost impossible to win in New York, and believes the NBA is “missing’’ out on having the Knicks — 5-20 after Wednesday’s 124-122 OT win against the Warriors — be solid and not the train wreck they have become.
Kerr remembers the great times as a Bull during their fierce rivalries of the 1990s.
He says it’s still “one of my favorites places to play” as a coach.
“I’ve got great memories, particularly when I was with Chicago and playing in the Garden, hearing the ‘Go NY Go NY Go’ song,’’ Kerr said before facing the Knicks. “And I didn’t really like it at the time. Looking back, fantastic rivalry. Those teams were tough, physical. They had an identity. Fans fell in love with those teams and the Garden was just electric.
“So I think people recognize that New York is a basketball town, it’s a basketball city. I think most people in the league want the Knicks to be good. I know I do. I think it’s something that’s missing from the league. We need them to have success. They’re a marquee franchise. … I would like to see things get turned around there for the sake of the league and the sake of the Knicks fans because they have great fans there.”
Kerr texted with Fizdale, who spent four days in 2018 embedded with Kerr’s Warriors entering the playoffs.
Kerr reiterated every coach needs good management and ownership to succeed. Kerr has had owner Joe Lacob and GM Bob Myers and Fizdale had James Dolan and Steve Mills.
“These jobs are really, really difficult, these head coaching jobs, they’re hard to find, they’re hard to get and once you’re in them you’re really dependent on your players’ talent level and the support of your organization and the strength of your organization,’’ Kerr said. “So my comments the other night were sincere. I’ll let them speak for themselves.”
Kerr, whose dynasty is on a one-year hiatus with injuries and Kevin Durant’s defection, said Friday, “I made the right choice.”
Allonzo Trier was placed back in the rotation by Miller in Portland, entering in the second quarter. As usual when he’s played, he put up points in a hurry — 13 in 14 minutes. In the four games he has played the past three weeks, Trier has averaged 10 points.
“It’s a continuation of we know exactly what he can do and he’s been doing it,’’ Miller said of Trier, who was a fixture in the rotation last season as a rookie. “We get into a game and say we need this and that’s what he brings and he has been productive.”