OAKLAND -- Steve Kerr walked out of Oracle Arena with his 250th win as an NBA coach, reaching that total faster than any coach in history, and Draymond Green was quick to explain why.
“It means he’s got some good players,” he said.
Though Green laughed and then delivered a more seriously detailed response, Kerr rather agreed with his power forward.
“It just means that I inherited a hell of a team, an amazing and talented group of players,” he said.
Kerr’s record now stands at 250-52, a total of 302 games. The previous record-holder, Phil Jackson, required 346 games.
“I’m going to text him right now,” Kerr joked of Jackson, under whom he played as a member of the Chicago Bulls. “He couldn’t do it and he had Michael Jordan, for God’s sakes. I don’t know what Phil’s problem was.”
Though Kerr’s assessment about the team’s talent is on target -- the Warriors have sent multiple players to the All-Star Game in each of his four seasons --there is something impressive about a coach without experience instilling a culture and maintaining it while managing so many high-profile personalities.
“He made the right decision at the beginning,” Stephen Curry said, referring to Kerr choosing the Warriors job over that of the New York Knicks. “He was coveted coming out of the booth. And when he first got here, he really took his time implementing the system and perspective about how we were going to win and make that next step, to a championship-winning team, as opposed to the playoff team we had been for a couple years before.
“It’s been an amazing three-and-a-half years and, hopefully, we’ll have more to come.”
Insofar as he is the official head coach of the Warriors, every team victory goes on Kerr’s record, although former assistant Luke Walton was 39-4 over a 43-game stretch at the beginning of the 2015-15 season, when Kerr took a leave of absence to cope with debilitating side effects of multiple back surgeries.
“It’s actually 211 -- Luke got 39,” Kerr cracked.
Kerr, 52, still has the daily discomfort. And whenever he is asked about walking away, his response is that coaching enriches his life and gives him a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
The Warriors understand that and they appreciate it.
“That’s incredible,” Green said of Kerr’s achievements. “Steve never had any coaching experience and to accomplish something like that says a lot. With the continuity that he brought to the organization -- not only on the basketball court -- with the culture, it’s made a difference. And it’s why we’ve been able to have the success that we’ve had.”