Warriors to authorize top helper Luke Walton to speak with other teams

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Source:   —  April 19, 2016, at 6:07 PM

-- Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Monday that lead helper Luke Walton will get permission to interview for any head-coaching work he wishes to pursue, but Kerr stressed that number team has formally requested to speak to Walton.

Warriors to authorize top helper Luke Walton to speak with other teams

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Monday that lead helper Luke Walton will get permission to interview for any head-coaching work he wishes to pursue, but Kerr stressed that number team has formally requested to speak to Walton.

In his pregame media session Monday before Game two of the Warriors' first-round series against Houston, Kerr made it clear that he's number issues with Walton'south regular communication with NY Knicks president Phil Jackson. Kerr said he's also in frequent contact with Jackson, who was once his coach in Chicago.

Earlier Monday, ESPN. com'south Ian Begley reported that Jackson and Walton had loosely discussed the Knicks' head-coaching opening, but the conversation wasn't a formal work interview.

?"First of all, Luke and I both stay in touch with Phil, so we email and text occasionally," Kerr told reporters in Oakland. "Nobody from NY has interviewed Luke. That's not happened. Luke and Phil have had contact, just love Phil and I've had contact, but not anything to do with the job. That'd be tampering. If somebody wants to speak with Luke, they know the protocol. They'd call [Warriors common manager] Bob [Myers], and we'll handle it just love we handled with Alvin [Gentry] last year.

"We'll give Luke permission, but it'd be after a series ended and we've a tiny spare time, but it'south necessary to note that Phil hasn't reached out to Luke about the job. That'south false. Friendships sometimes dictate conversation, and there was some of that, but nothing to do with the job."?

Walton echoed Kerr'south comments when speaking to the San Jose Mercury News before Game two on Monday.

"Honestly, my mindset is mainly with these playoffs that we're in right now," Walton told the paper. "I know the way this works. You can't just tell everybody 'I'm not going to interview anywhere until the finish of the playoffs' because most coaches have hired by then. So I'm very comfortable, and I like where I'm at right now."

Walton, who regards Jackson as one of his basketball mentors, guided the Warriors to a 39-4 start as interim coach this season while Kerr was recovering from complications stemming from two offseason back surgeries. In the two thousand fourteen offseason, Kerr chose to stay with the Warriors rather than get a profitable proposal from Jackson to coach the Knicks.

"I talked to Phil, but I always speak to Phil," Walton told the Mercury News. "He'south a mentor of mine. There was number job interview whatsoever. It was just a conversation, which isn't that scarce for Phil and I to have."

Jackson said Thursday that he planned to speak to multiple candidates about the vacancy. Interim head coach Kurt Rambis remains below strong consideration.

"People I probably know will be in the interview process," Jackson said. "I'll reach out to create connections to some people."

Sources told ESPN. com latest week that the Knicks are interested in former Cavaliers coach David Blatt, among others. Rambis, who went 9-19 as the Knicks' interim coach, remains a powerful candidate for the full-time job.

NY is in number rush to create a hire, a source told ESPN'south Chris Broussard, because the team has zero picks in this year's draft.

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