Warriors

How Kerr decides to 'shake up' or maintain coaching staff

Warriors

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is now in his seventh season with the team, a tenure that's included leading a veteran group of players to five-straight NBA Finals, and now currently sits in a new reconstructing and reestablishing phase.

Through it all, Kerr has had very minimal turnover within his coaching staff, which is rare in today's NBA that frequently experiences a coaching carousel. 

"Obviously we have had great success," Kerr said on the latest episode of the "Dubs Talk" podcast. "The first five years of my career we had two coaches go on to become head coaches, in Alvin [Gentry] and Luke Walton.  And that kind of shook up the group and allowed people from the lower ranks within the coaching ladder to rise up. And the last few years we haven't had that same dynamic, so we have had the same staff."

The tremendous success from the first five seasons led to Gentry and Walton becoming hot commodities. However, with the Warriors falling to the worst record in the league last season, and the roster being revamped, there has not been the same kind of demand from outside organizations to poach Golden State's coaches. 

The big question mark is whether or not the same staff is perfectly equipped to transition from a veteran, star-studded team, to a younger, more hands-on roster in need of development. Kerr's solution this season was to add to the staff, rather than subtract.

"I think sometimes it is good to have new faces," Kerr explained. "That is why we added Leandro Barbosa this year. That is why we added Shaun Livingston to the management staff. We wanted the players to feel some new blood, new energy, and also get the experience that former players had.

 

"As we go forward, I anticipate we are going to have more turnover. I think Mike Brown is going to be a head coach in the league again, I think Jarron Collins has a chance to be a head coach. And that is when you get the type of change within that sometimes can be a positive shift." 

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While that might be true, Kerr explained why isn't rushing to start revamping his staff again.

"In the meantime, when everyone is doing a great job and you have success and you have a good group, you are not about to just throw everyone out and say 'Yeah, let's bring in a new group,'" he said. "I don't believe in operating that way. And so we try to find the right mix."

"We have got a good consistency with the group we have, but we try to kind of mix up the roles, and add a piece here and there. And that's my philosophy."

The jury is still out on a very up-and-down start to the Warriors 2020-21 campaign, one that is being played under highly unusual circumstances. How this season unfolds may very well determine if teams will come calling to snag some coaches, or on the other side of the spectrum, test Kerr's philosophy of shaking up his staff. 

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