On eve of Spurs series, Kerr back at practice: 'Great to see him out here'

On eve of Spurs series, Kerr back at practice: 'Great to see him out here'

OAKLAND -- Steve Kerr is back with the Warriors, if only behind the scenes.

After being away for games and practices during the Western Conference semifinals against Utah, Kerr rejoined his coaching staff for meetings Friday and also attended practice Saturday.

Though Kerr visited briefly with the team on May 3, it was the first time since April 21 that he was a vocal presence at practice, though he won’t be on the sideline when the Warriors face the Spurs Sunday afternoon in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

“More than anything else, it was great to see him out here, especially during practice, walking around and talking to guys,” acting head coach Mike Brown said. “You really enjoy that because he’s our leader. He’s the guy that laid the foundation and that has everybody heading in the right direction. So the more he can be around, it’s a better feel that all of us have. It was good to see him out here today.”

Though Kerr did not address the media, his presence on consecutive mornings indicates he may be experiencing some relief after undergoing a procedure last week at Duke University Spine Center in North Carolina.

Kerr announced on April 23, prior to Game 4 of the first-round series against Portland, that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence to address chronic pain that lingers after multiple back surgeries in the summer of 2015. He first consulted with specialists at Stanford Medical Center before flying to North Carolina.

Kerr arrived at the team facility at 8:30 on Friday morning for a meeting with the coaching staff. He arrived around 9:30 Saturday to assist in preparation for practice and also to address the team ahead of Game 1.

“He’s obviously been doing his homework in between his down times to help us get prepared for the series,” Stephen Curry said. “And you know he misses being around the day-to-day routine and the atmosphere and practice and locker rooms and the games. For him to just have the energy and ability to be here means a lot.”

If Kerr is feeling good enough to be at the team facility on back-to-back mornings, don’t be surprised if he somehow makes it to Oracle Arena on Sunday for Game 1 against his friend and mentor, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich.


Steve Kerr jokes about wanting to trade spots with Andre Iguodala

Steve Kerr jokes about wanting to trade spots with Andre Iguodala

Steve Kerr has accomplished a lot during his playing and coaching career.

He played four seasons for Lute Olson at Arizona. He spent 15 years playing in the NBA, and won five NBA titles during that time.

As a coach, Kerr has made the NBA Finals in each of his first four seasons with the Warriors, and has won three championships.

If you're Steve Kerr, there aren't many people you'd want to trade places with.

Except, there is one Warriors player Kerr would like to be.

"I definitely would trade spots with Andre [Iguodala]," Kerr said on Friday on 95.7 The Game. "I can only imagine what it has felt like to be Andre iguodala over the last 20 years playing basketball. That kind of athleticism, intelligence and feel, I could only dream about being the player he is."

Iguodala, a first-round pick in 2004, has won three titles with Kerr, was named NBA Finals MVP in 2015, was selected to the 2012 NBA All-Star Game and will have earned nearly $170 million through contracts by the time his deal with the Warriors is up.

So, we can understand why Kerr might want to trade places with Iguodala.

[RELATED: Iguodala reveals reason for improved play]

Kerr was asked a really tough question by host Damon Bruce: Who had the better playing career as an Arizona Wildcat, himself or Iguodala?

"How do I answer that?" Kerr joked. "I guess I did because I was there five years and he was there two years."

Dirk Nowitzki remembers one thing most about 2007 Game 6 loss to Warriors

Dirk Nowitzki remembers one thing most about 2007 Game 6 loss to Warriors

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Saturday afternoon at 4 P.T., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

May 3, 2017 is a special day in Golden State Warriors history.

The No. 8 seed Warriors knocked off the No. 1 seed Mavericks in Game 6 at Oracle Arena to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals.

Dirk Nowitzki -- who was named MVP about two weeks later -- had one of the worst games of his career. He scored just eight points and went 2-for-13 from the field.

But it was something that took place off the court that stands out more than anything for Dirk when he thinks about that difficult day.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic has the details:

“Crazy atmosphere,” Dirk remembered. “Crazy. One of the loudest buildings I’ve been in. The fans were so in it, any run they had.”

What does Dirk remember most? The pregame tailgates.

“It doesn’t happen much in basketball,” Dirk said. “Happens more in football, when the fans cookout before. But that was the case when we drove up to the arena two-and-a-half hours, three hours before tip.

“Fans were out there flipping us off, mooning us on our way in. It was crazy. As a competitor, fun to play, but it kind of pushed them to another level. The fans were a big part of that.”

On Saturday night, Dirk will play at Oracle for the last time in his career.

The crowds might not be as consistently loud as they were during the "We Believe" run in 2007, but the man who has scored the sixth most points in NBA history has a lot of respect for the people who have filled up Oracle over the years.

[RELATEDSteph Curry will not play when Warriors host Luka Doncic, Mavericks]

“Oracle was always a fun place to play,” Nowitzki told The Athletic. “Even in the years early in my career, when the team wasn’t good, I thought the fans were always amazing there. Always great crowds. Always loud when they made runs. A great stop.

“They say the fans have changed a little bit. Because, yeah, obviously the ticket prices are a little higher than they used to be 20 years ago. But I didn’t really notice. It’s still super loud. Honestly, when Steph gets on one of his runs and starts shooting 3s from 35 feet, the place goes absolutely bonkers.”

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