The physical problems that caused Warriors coach Steve Kerr to miss the final two games of the first-round series have gotten worse over the past week, reports Anthony Slater of The San Jose Mercury News. Kerr’s indefinite absence from the team may stretch well into the second round or even beyond.
Kerr was at Stanford Medical Center today getting further tests and had to miss the first practice in preparation for the next round of playoffs. Interim coach Mike Brown was in charge and said he will plan to coach the rest of the postseason unless GM Bob Myers tells him differently.
Brown talked to Kerr Tuesday night about strategies for facing the Jazz or Clippers in the next round. Brown refused to comment on Kerr’s condition, referring all those questions to Myers.
Kerr is still dealing with the effects of surgery that he had in the summer of 2015 to repair a ruptured disk in his back. That created a fluid leak in his spine, and a follow-up operation was needed. Kerr missed the first 43 games of last season and still hasn’t returned to full health.
Myers addressed his coach’s condition after today’s practice in an interview on 95.7 The Game. He said the organization hasn’t set a timetable for a return, and he wants to see Kerr have several good days in a row before he comes back to the bench.
“For him to live the life that he wants to live, we need to figure it out,” Myers said. “I think we will.”
The Warriors won’t play again until Sunday, and maybe not until Tuesday if the Jazz-Clippers series goes to a seventh game. Brown plans to continue having strategy sessions with Kerr and will try to handle his absence as smoothly as possible.
“You hope it’s seamless,” Brown said. “I’ve been coaching a long time and even though Steve’s older than me — a lot older than me (laughs) — he’s been coaching for three years now and I’ve learned a ton from him. Not just X’s and O’s. Maybe [Gregg Popovich] rivals it, but he’s by far the best communicator I’ve been around. There’s no way I’ll be able to emulate that. Just being here a year, having the veterans we have, the staff we have, it’s made it, in my opinion, seamless.”