Steve Kerr won’t travel to Salt Lake City for Games 3 and 4
Steve Kerr hasn’t been on the bench with the Golden State Warriors since Game 2 of the team’s first-round series sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers due to a troubling flareup of his debilitating back condition. Kerr did travel to Portland, though, for Games 3 and 4, although he wasn’t an in-game presence on the sidelines.
Kerr again was absent from the bench for the Warriors’ first two home-court wins over the Utah Jazz in the second round. And now, unlike in Golden State’s first-round series, it sounds like Kerr won’t even travel for Games 3 and 4 against the Jazz, as Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle reports Kerr will not make the trip to Salt Lake City.
I've confirmed that Steve Kerr won't travel to Utah tomorrow. Means Brown will coach games 3 and 4, at least.
— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) May 5, 2017
As noted in the tweet, the news means not only will Mike Brown serve as head coach coach in Games 3 and 4, it also slightly inhibits his ability to lean on Kerr’s immediate presence, at least behind-the-scenes.
Granted, it’s not like Brown lacks the ability to confer with Kerr in myriad ways despite the latter not traveling to Salt Lake City. But the most troubling aspect of Kerr not joining the road trip is how it at least leads to a suspicion that Kerr’s back is not improving.
Or perhaps even more foreboding, it’s getting worse, at least in a more debilitating state than it was during the Blazers series.Kerr underwent two back surgeries to treat a “very rare” spinal fluid leak in the summer of 2015 and missed the first 43 games of the Warriors’ record-setting 2015-16 campaign.
Draymond Green more or less confirmed earlier this week the team’s expectation that Kerr won’t return for the entirety of the postseason while pointing out Kerr’s “health is more important than anything.”
And on that front, Kerr appeared confident last week that there is hope long-term.
The Warriors have no choice but to carry on without their head coach as they try to take a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Jazz on Saturday night.