Report: Steve Kerr ‘uncertain’ to return to Warriors for NBA Finals
The Golden State Warriors on Monday night completed a 12-0 run through the Western Conference en route to a third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. While the Warriors’ ticket is punched for a bid at a second NBA title in three seasons, it’s unclear at this time if Steve Kerr will be coaching the team in the series.
“Just day-by-day,” Kerr told The Undefeated’s Marc Spears after the Warriors completed a Western Conference Finals sweep over the San Antonio Spurs courtesy of a 129-115 victory.
Kerr has been sidelined by complications stemming from a troublesome back, one that required surgery prior to the 2015-16 NBA season and caused him to miss a significant portion of the regular season. He last coached in Game 2 of Golden State’s first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers before announcing an indefinite leave of absence on April 23.
Kerr has continued to work behind the scenes as assistant Mike Brown took over as interim head coach. Kerr been able to travel with the team since staying behind for the team’s games in Portland, but sources have told ESPN that Kerr remains in “significant amount of pain and discomfort.”
Kerr recently stated doctors are working hard to find a solution, saying, “If they can find it, they can fix it.”
As the team waits its opponent in the Finals — which will begin on June 1 — Warriors owner Joe Lacob offered a statement of support for Kerr as the coach deals with his debilitating back condition.
“He is a fantastic coach and a fantastic human being and a great friend,” Lacob said late Monday night. “I told him the other day, ‘I don’t even want to talk about or think about anything other than winning this championship. You can contribute in any way you can, and we’ll worry about the future in the future.'”
Lacob added that Kerr’s influence cannot be overstated despite his absence from the bench.
“He is still here. He’s in the locker room. He’s around. His imprint is all over this,” Lacob said. “I don’t view it as he’s not here; he’s just not on the bench.”