Once again, Steve Kerr’s official win total is at variance with reality. And once again, the actual coach – or in this case, coaches – are robbed of the official credit by pedants.
Kerr pulled out a time-honored gambit for a good team suffering from pre-All Star ennui and allowed the Golden State Warriors to coach themselves. There was little risk, of course, as the opponents, the Phoenix Suns, were bad, injured, and very casual about defense. It was a perfect feel-good moment for a team of veterans who needed something new to do.
So they did, with the predictable result. Warriors 129, Suns 83 – the fourth most lopsided win of the year by any team, and second-most by the Warriors.
So now Kerr’s record, currently listed as 251-52, a league-record .828 winning percentage (ahead of Milwaukee’s Joe Prunty, who is 8-2 in the wake of Jason Kidd’s firing in Milwaukee), can be debated again by small-minded types.
There’s that troublesome 39-4 record amassed by Luke Walton which is still credited to Kerr. There’s also the complete omission of playoff games, in which Kerr is 47-15 . . . except there’s the 11 wins Mike Brown amassed in Kerr’s medical absence last year.
And now there is the new College of Coaches win – an homage of sorts to the Chicago Cubs’ loopy idea in the early ‘60s to eliminate the manager and rotate the job among a small group of old baseball hands. That was, like most things Cub of that era, a hilarious disaster.
In any event, Steve Kerr’s total record, which ought to be 298-67 (.816, still the best ever), is actually 247-63, or .796, making Prunty the greatest coaching mind in the history of the sport.
Except of course for Not Steve Kerr – who with Monday’s win is now 51-4, or .927. Now how does that not merit a mention in Springfield?
Hey, if we’re going to play with numbers, damn it, let’s play with numbers.
Kerr has been a good sport about all this nonsense, never failing to remind folks that people remind him. And Walton could use the boost, because his 49-88 (.358) suddenly becomes 88-92 (.489), and his place on the all-time percentage list from 216th to 108th. Hell, Mike Brown’s 11 playoff wins would take him past 400 (405-252, .616), and that’s a nice round number that deserves marketing, too.
We bring this up only to remind you that the most technologically advanced nation ever, fueled by an obsession with record-keeping and metric-strangling, continues to grapple unsuccessfully with a simple matter like applying a number to Kerr’s work. And now that he is being challenged at the top of the all-time coaches list by the crafty Prunty, this stuff should matter to you numerophiles. A man’s reputation is at stake here...or at least his place among his fellow coaches.
And damn it, Luke Walton, Mike Brown, Joe Prunty and now the Hamptons 5 Plus 7 deserve to know where they stand.