OAKLAND -- Steve Kerr’s value to the Warriors goes beyond game planning or organizing practices or knowing when and when not to call a timeout.
Kerr has established, and continues to foster, a culture in which everyone in the building feels valued. Every successful organization has a hub, someone with whom everyone is comfortable, and within this franchise Kerr shares that distinction with general manager Bob Myers.
The absence of either man would have seismic implications, and no one knows that better than Warriors CEO Joe Lacob.
So two years after gracing Myers with the additional title of “president,” CEO Joe Lacob has presented Kerr with trailer full of cash that, according to league sources, will at least double the $5 million-per-year average of the five-year contract Kerr signed in May 2014.
The new agreement fell into place Friday, according to multiple league sources, with Kerr’s signature to come in a matter of minutes or hours or, at the longest, days. The agreement was first reported by ESPN.
The length of the extension has not been confirmed, but a league source previously indicated an additional three years had been discussed.
Though Kerr knew he wanted to coach beyond his current pact, which expires next spring, he also sought to get a better sense of his health. He continues to grapple with general discomfort and other symptoms related to multiple back surgeries three years ago.
Kerr recently said he feels much better than he did a year ago -- he took a six-week leave of absence in April 2017 -- but acknowledges there are activities, such as golf, from which he continues to be restricted.
Through it all, the Warriors had no concerns whatsoever. They’ve won three championships in four seasons under Kerr, whose skillful navigation of a loaded roster -- which includes healthy egos, despite the perception -- is a testament to his gift for for the human touch.
Coaching in the NBA is more about managing individuals than drawing up plays, a task most of the players in the league are capable of completing. Kerr is not a perfect coach, and is to first to admit it, but nobody on an NBA bench better combines basketball background, adroit communication, awareness of work-live balance and unassuming nature.
The word from the front office, from Lacob and Myers, has been consistent for more than a year. Moreover, it has been in complete harmony with the desires of Kerr. This is what all parties have wanted since last spring.
Health permitting, Kerr is obligated to be on the job for a few more years, largely due to the team winning at a record rate, but no less because nobody in the organization cares to visualize being without him.