The Golden State Warriors have hired Steve Kerr as their head coach, two people familiar with the development told USA TODAY Sports.
Kerr, who has no head coaching experience, will get a five-year deal worth $25 million, one of the people said. The people requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, though the team made an announcement late Wednesday.
Kerr, the former Phoenix Suns general manager who won five championships as a player, also was a top candidate for the New York Knicks job. Instead, he replaces another TV analyst-turned-coach, recently fired Mark Jackson.
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The Warriors are coming off consecutive trips to the playoffs for the first time since 1992. Jackson was fired with a year left on his contract because of a rift with owner Joe Lacob.
Kerr's decision was made easier because of the talent level Jackson left behind. Point guard Stephen Curry is coming off his first All-Star selection, while power forward David Lee was an All-Star two years ago. Curry and shooting guard Klay Thompson were the top two three-point shooters by volume in the NBA last season, and Kerr was a marksman as a player.
The Warriors were eliminated in a seven-game first-round series by the Los Angeles Clippers this month, but they played without defensive-minded starting center Andrew Bogut. Their balanced roster mostly returns intact for next season, when they could be serious Western Conference contenders with health and a quick adjustment from Kerr.
Kerr played for now-Knicks President Phil Jackson's Chicago Bulls and Gregg Popovich's San Antonio Spurs, experience which surely will help him adjust to coaching. He also ran the Suns' front office from 2007 to 2010.
Kerr joins a small list of coaches who had no prior NBA coaching experience before getting the top job — mostly recently Jackson, Jason Kidd of the Brooklyn Nets and Doc Rivers with the Orlando Magic.
NBA.com was the first to report Kerr's hire.
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