The Warriors announced on Thursday that head coach Steve Kerr will take a leave of absence from the team in order to focus on his recovery and rehabilitation from back surgery. The length of Kerr’s absence is unknown, and it will be determined by the speed of his progress, according to the team. Luke Walton, the team’s lead assistant, will serve as the interim head coach. Kerr underwent surgery on his back to repair a ruptured disc in late July and then had follow-up surgery in early September.
“After the first two days of training camp, I realized I need to take a step back and focus on my rehabilitation in order to be ready for the grind of another NBA season,” said Kerr. “As I noted last week, my summer was difficult and no fun due to the multiple back surgeries. At this point, I simply want to get healthy and back to my normal daily routine on and off the court.”
It’s unclear at this time if Kerr, who led the Warriors to the NBA title last season, his first as a coach, will return in time for the start of the regular season. “At this point, the most important thing is to make sure Steve is healthy, completely recovered and ready for not only the rigors of a long NBA season, but day-to-day life in general,” said Warriors GM Bob Myers. “We don’t anticipate the recovery process will be long term, but as of today we don’t know the exact timeframe. We’ll evaluate his progress daily and provide updates as necessary.”
So here’s the topic/question of the day: How much would a prolonged absence for Steve Kerr affect the Warriors’ chances of repeating as NBA champions?
While the NBA is certainly a player-driven league, one cannot discount the positive impact that Kerr had during his initial season as an NBA head coach. Walton, while well-regarded around the league as an assistant, has zero head-coaching experience to rely on as he holds down the fort in Kerr’s absence.
But what are your thoughts on the matter? Will Kerr’s absence sink the team early in the season, or will the Warriors’ wealth of talent allow them to carry on without a hiccup? Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say.