Steve Kerr officially rejoins TNT; Gillespie promoted

With his contract expiring Wednesday, former Suns’ general manager Steve Kerr officially reclaimed his court side seat with TNT Tuesday as the network officially announced his new analyst role.

The network released a statement Tuesday, marking the final step in Kerr’s departure after three years as the Suns’ GM. According to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic, Kerr is getting a five-year contract. Kerr will begin work as an analyst during the 2010-11 season. His duties will include TNT’s Thursday night doubleheader coverage, NBA All-Star Weekend and the playoffs.

Despite the Suns’ run to the Western Conference Finals and Kerr’s rising reputation as an executive, he chose to leave the front office to spend more time with his family in San Diego by rejoining TNT. Kerr spent four seasons calling games for the network before taking the Suns’ GM job.It’s also been widely reported that contract negotiations with Suns managing partner Robert Sarver did not go well, with Sarver ultimately asking him to take a pay cut.

“Part of this is living a normal lifestyle again,” Kerr said in the statement. “I’ve got family situations I want to be a part of and can stay in the game and be a part of things. I still get to enjoy the game itself but also be in a better position.”

Emphasis on part. It’s become clear that Kerr saw a much more attractive gig available as TNT’s replacement for Doug Collins, who left to coach the Philadelphia 76ers. Kerr will get time with his family and work one or two days a week without having to worry about losing.

Kerr’s departure doesn’t just come at a time when he was starting to really win over Suns fans, but it also comes at a time when the Suns need leadership. With the free agent frenzy beginning Thursday, the Suns sit without a GM, leaving the decision-making to Sarver and coach Alvin Gentry.

Gillespie promoted

After logging seven years of service with the Suns, Noel Gillespie is movin’ on up. Though the promotion is not Gillespie’s first with the team, he will now serve the Suns as an assistant coach/advance scout. Gillespie spent the past two seasons as an advance scout, helping the coaching staff prepare for upcoming opponents.

“Noel is an important member of our coaching staff,” Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said in a statement released by the Suns Tuesday. “In the NBA today it is vital to have someone as diligent as Noel studying and scouting opponents to better prepare our coaches and our team.  We appreciate all of his hard work the last two seasons and are thrilled to have him back.”

Tags: Noel Gillespie Phoenix Suns Robert Sarver Steve Kerr TNT

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