As a former reporter, in a manner of speaking, Steve Kerr is familiar with the phrase “Friday afternoon news dump.” It’s newsroom talk for stories released or leaked with the weekend approaching to minimize coverage.
He was hoping that would be the case with his contract extension, the theory being that such news would be buried beneath the avalanche of speculation and debate regarding NBA free agency.
It didn’t quite turn out that way because, well, Warriors news doesn’t bury well.
“My goal with this thing is for there not to be any news on details and then free agency begins tonight and it gets lost in the shuffle and nobody cares,” Kerr said Saturday, by phone, while driving to his San Diego-area home with his wife, Margot.
“I signed a multi-year extension,” he added. “And that’s it.”
Kerr declined to divulge further details, including the specific length of the extension.
Though the Warriors had yet to announce news of the extension, Kerr is expected to coach at least the first two seasons at Chase Center, the new arena in San Francisco, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.
As for his annual salary, which sources on Friday put at around $10 million -- a 100-percent increase over his original five-year, $25 million contract -- Kerr implied it was less than that.
For the record, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, on the job since 1997, is the highest-paid coach in the NBA, is entering the final season of a five-year deal worth a reported $55 million. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers signed a similar contract in May.
In any case, Kerr’s salary will be commensurate to the success of the Warriors. They have reached the NBA Finals in all four seasons with him on the bench, coming away with three championships.
With one season remaining on a five-year contract, Kerr, 52, feels the timing is right. His health has improved to the degree that he’s comfortable making a commitment beyond the 2018-19 season.
There will be no news conference, as often is the case with players, related to Kerr’s extension. It’s evident the former high school sports writer and TV analyst wishes to avoid speculation in hopes of moving past his contract status and into the summer.
And into free agency, which, eventually, will bury the news of his extension.