By ANTONIO GONZALEZ
AP Sports Writer
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The Golden State Warriors and Steve Kerr have completed the coaching contract agreed to last week.
The sides finalized the five-year deal worth up to $25 million Monday. The team said it will introduce Kerr at a news conference Tuesday at its downtown Oakland practice facility.
“We’re very pleased to introduce Steve Kerr as our new head coach,” Warriors general Bob Myers said in a statement. “We are confident that he will be an extremely good fit for our team and our organization as we venture into the future. The fact that he played for several of the greatest coaches in the history of the game – including Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich – will serve him well, as will the many nuances that he learned from performing on the brightest stage during his incredibly successful, championship-filled career.”
Kerr, 48, had been in talks with the New York Knicks about becoming their coach after Jackson took over as team president in March. He won three titles for Jackson in Chicago and another two under Popovich in San Antonio during his 15-year playing career.
Kerr also served as general manager of the Phoenix Suns from 2007-10 before going back to the TNT broadcast table. He replaces Mark Jackson, who was fired by the Warriors on May 6 after three seasons and back-to-back playoff appearances in large part because of his sour relationship with team management.
Jackson already has agreed to a multiyear deal to rejoin the lead NBA announcing team for ESPN/ABC. Jackson is working the Eastern Conference finals and NBA Finals with Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy.
The Warriors job is certainly a far more attractive one than when owner Joe Lacob Jackson away from broadcast table in June 2011. The Warriors are coming off a 51-win season and consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in 20 years, and they’ve surrounded star Stephen Curry with a talented young core.
“I’m really excited about the unique opportunity to coach a very talented team and work for this committed management group,” Kerr said in a statement. “In my estimation, the Warriors, from top to bottom, have become one of the marquee organizations in the NBA in recent years. I’m looking forward to becoming part of that environment and building upon the success of the last two seasons.”
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: http://www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP
Updated May 19, 2014