The Warriors remain uncertain when coach Steve Kerr can return to the team on a full-time basis, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Ethan Sherwood Strauss report. Kerr, who underwent two offseason back surgeries, was with the club on its weeklong preseason trip through Southern California, but there’s no timetable on when he can coach on a daily basis, the story continues. ”He still doesn’t know,” interim coach Luke Walton told reporters after the team’s practice on Monday. “He’s not going to force a return.”
In other news around the Western Conference:
- Clippers coach Doc Rivers feels the Warriors are too thin-skinned about recent comments he made about them, according to Diamond Leung of the Bay Area Sports Group. In an interview with Grantland, Rivers insinuated that the Warriors were lucky they didn’t have to play his club or the Spurs in the playoffs last season, Leung continues. He told reporters on Monday that he’s taken aback by the Warriors’ strong reaction to that notion, Leung adds. “I’m really surprised how sensitive they are about it,” Rivers said. “They are the champions, so they can just be the champions.” Walton told Leung that Rivers is playing mind games with the champions. “It doesn’t make much sense if it’s not,” Walton said. “There’s no other reason to bring that type of stuff up.”
- Second-year point guard Erick Green is making a strong case for a Nuggets roster spot even though he doesn’t have a guaranteed contract, Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post writes. New coach Michael Malone has raved about Green during camp, though Green suffered a temporary setback with a minor knee injury, the story continues. Green, who could make $845,059 if he stays with the team through the season, bounced back with a 16-point, four-assist outing against the Thunder on Sunday night. But the club would have to move one of 15 players with guaranteed contracts in order to retain Green, Dempsey points out.
- Jazz forward Joe Ingles had more difficulty deciding to take the summer off than he did re-signing with the club, Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Ingles stayed put by inking a two-year, $4.3MM deal, then opted not to participate in the Australian national team’s Olympic qualifiers over the summer. “I’m not going to say it was like the hardest decision of my life, but it was something that weighed on me for a little bit,” he told Falk. “I did want to play.”