KPIX 5 Sports Director Dennis O’Donnell hosts “Gameday” every Sunday night at 11:30pm on KPIX 5 and offers his unique sports analysis here.
OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — By the time Norm walked into Cheers and sat down at his corner stool, the beer was already waiting for him. As the song goes, “you wanna go where everybody knows your name.”
People like familiarity. That’s why Steve Kerr is the new coach of the Warriors. Owner Joe Lacob has known him for 20 years. General Manager Bob Myers did business with him when he was an agent, and Kerr was the GM for Phoenix. Kerr even knows Joe’s son, Kirk, who is the Warriors assistant general manager.
And that’s a good thing, just ask Mark Jackson.
So why didn’t Lacob hire Kerr the first time around? Simply put, Kerr’s stock rose faster than Google when Phil Jackson mentioned his former player might make a good coach for the New York Knicks.
When Phil speaks, people listen. They also steal your coach. Sorry Phil, you were bound to lose one sooner or later.
Reading transcripts and reactions of both Lacob and Kerr, one senses a very comfortable relationship. I’m not sure such a thing ever existed between Lacob and Jackson.
Lacob’s goal of a championship is ultimately his highest priority. But he wants to walk into his own building and feel comfortable with his coach. He wants to trust him, advise him, ask him questions and receive feedback. He wants Kerr to kiss a few babies in the front office and regale the entire organization with tales of five NBA Championships.
Apparently, Kerr has been mapping out his coaching strategy for some time. He’s got a game plan which is meticulously detailed ranging from everything to a version of Phil Jackson’s triangle offense to how he’ll apply social media.
As for Stephen Curry’s loyalty to Mark Jackson? The face of the franchise has already shared a few laughs with Kerr. There won’t be any lingering loyalty on Curry’s part. Curry’s too smart for that anyway.
In a way, Lacob lucked out. He targeted Stan Van Gundy who wanted more power and took the offer from Detroit. Kerr wants a voice, but not the final say. Where would Lacob had been if Kerr chose the Knicks? Rick Barry anyone?
Remember this scene from Cheers?
Sam: What’ll you have Normie?
Norm: Well, I’m in a gambling mood Sammy. I’ll take a glass of whatever comes out of that tap.
Sam: Looks like beer, Norm.
Norm: Call me Mister Lucky.
You can say that again.
See you on TV.