When Mike D'Antoni resigned in 2012, Stoudemire waxed respect and lamented the fact New York never fully bought into his system, per the New York Daily News' Frank Isola. When Woodson was canned in April, he did the exact same thing, according to ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk.
Now, it's Kerr's back that Stoudemire has.
Speaking on ESPN Radio's The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Stoudemire sang Kerr's praises to no end, per ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley:
I like Steve Kerr. For one, when he was a GM (in Phoenix, when Stoudemire was with the Suns) he was always preaching about winning and winning a title and that's something that I adored about him. And then also, secondly, he has a formula to win; he's been a winner in this league before. He wants to win. And he reminds me of somewhat of a player-coach that knows the game and knows what players go through as far as ups and downs throughout the year and that's going to help him.
Clearly, this is the ringing endorsement Kerr has been waiting on pins and needles for. Stoudemire's public stamp of approval was the only thing holding up his arrival.
Although it's all well and good Stoudemire adores Kerr, he was going to coach the Knicks anyway. STAT's compliments aren't so much a recommendation as they are convenient. You want your players to like the coach—especially a new hire who has never coached an NBA team before.
Only two things are really preventing the Knicks from signing Kerr: his current position with TNT and interest from other teams.
Cross the latter of those obstacles off the list.
Kerr has been linked to the Golden State Warriors head-coaching vacancy. Though they were initially considered a real threat—Kerr's family lives in San Diego—Begley, along with colleague Marc Stein, says they've resigned to looking elsewhere for Mark Jackson's successor:
The Golden State Warriors are increasingly pessimistic about their chances of convincing Steve Kerr to turn down the New York Knicks in favor of Golden State's coaching job, according to sources close to the process.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Warriors fear Kerr is 'too deep' in talks with the Knicks and new shot-caller Phil Jackson to convince Kerr to rebuff Jackson now, despite Kerr's close relationship with Warriors owner Joe Lacob and team president Rick Welts, as well as Golden State's proximity to Kerr's offseason home in San Diego.
With the Warriors out of the way, Kerr's responsibilities as a TNT analyst are the lone roadblock. And according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, they're not really a roadblock at all.
The Knicks reportedly have no problem with Kerr continuing his broadcasting duties through the Western Conference Finals. Expect a deal to be reached shortly thereafter.
In the meantime, if you're asking what all the fuss over a coaching neophyte is about, Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley offers a nice answer:
Perhaps this level of interest has less to do with Kerr and more to do with the changing landscape of basketball coaching.
Experience is no longer a necessary section of the resume. Mark Jackson and Doc Rivers both jumped from the broadcast booth into the coach's chair. Jason Kidd was weeks removed from his playing career when he took over the Brooklyn Nets.
There's also Kerr's relationship with Knicks president Phil Jackson to consider. The two won three championships together with the Chicago Bulls, and Kerr is beyond familiar with Jackson's triangle offense and system basketball in general.
Case in point: The Knicks have found their next head coach. It's going to be Kerr. It was always going to be Kerr.
Incumbent-player reactions, along with Golden State's purported interest, were never going to change that. Not for a minute.
That Stoudemire is more likely to give Kerr a bear hug than shun him is merely a bonus.