OAKLAND -- Though he insists he has made no final decision about returning to coach the Warriors in the NBA Finals, Steve Kerr conceded Monday that he likely would remain in the background throughout the series that begins Thursday
“As of right now, I would not coach,” he said after practice.
“I’m alright; I’m not well enough to coach a game. And I know that from . . . I coached all 82 games and I felt OK. I was uncomfortable and in a lot of pain, but I did fine. I could make it through. The first two games of the Portland series, whatever happened, things got worse.”
Though Kerr has been a constant presence over the past two weeks, this was the first time he presided over practice. Acting coach Mike Brown was ill Monday and did not come to the facility.
“I’d like to tell you that I’m ready, but I’m not ready to coach yet,” Kerr said. “I’m still feeling a lot of the effects of what I’ve got going on.
“I told the team the good news is the team is really healthy, the bad news is the coaching staff is dropping like flies. Hopefully, Mike will be back (Tuesday).”
Kerr last coached a game on April 19, Game 2 of the first-round Western Conference playoff series against the Trail Blazers. He flew with the team to Portland for Games 3 and 4 but did not coach either game. It was on April 23, between Games 3 and 4, that Kerr announced he was taking a leave of absence to pursue remedies for chronic pain in the wake of multiple back surgeries.
The Warriors have gone 10-0 under Brown, who is in frequent communication with Kerr ever since May 10, when the team began preparations for the conference finals.
“I’ve been in every meeting since the San Antonio series started,” Kerr said. “Every film session, every practice. I address the team quite a bit; I think my messaging is important.”
Though Kerr said he plans to accompany the team to Cleveland next week for Games 3 and 4 of The Finals, he continues to weigh his options regarding returning to the bench.
“Once we get to Game 1,” he said, ‘it might be a good time to make a decision one way or the other.”