Warriors coach Steve Kerr says it’s unlikely that he’ll be on the bench for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, as he discussed with Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News and the assembled media on Monday. Mike Brown has filled in for Kerr on the sidelines for much of the postseason, though Brown himself missed practice on Monday because of the flu. Kerr will travel to Cleveland when the series shifts there and says he’s been at practices and coaches meetings, but coaching during a game is still an issue because of back pain, Slater continues. The pain became severe during the opening-round series against the Trail Blazers. “You saw me in the fourth quarter of Game 2. I could not sit still in my chair,” Kerr said. “There was that much pain. I would say I’ve gotten a little bit better. That’s why I’m here talking to you right now. But you can probably tell, I’m not sitting here happy-go-lucky.”
In other news around the Western Conference:
- Spurs guard Tony Parker expects to return from his torn quad injury in January, as he told the French magazine L’Equipe and relayed by Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. Parker required surgery earlier this month for the tear, which he suffered during the Western Conference semifinals against the Rockets. Parker will make $15.45MM in the final year of his contract next season.
- Gordon Hayward‘s decision in free agency won’t influence Jazz swingman Joe Ingles, according to Olgun Uluc of Foxsports.com. Ingles will be a restricted free agent once the Jazz extend him a qualifying offer of $2.687MM, which they almost assuredly will do. Ingles averaged 7.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 2.7 APG while shooting 44.1% from long range this past season. He would like to stay put, as he told Uluc. “I think we’ve got the team,” he said. “Obviously, Gordon is a big part of that, so his free agency — it’s not going to change what I’m going to do or where I want to go — but, we’re a different team depending on whether he’s there or not. I’m not gonna be sitting there calling Gordon every two minutes, but if everything works out in Utah and they want me, and it all comes together, that’s great.”
- California forward Ivan Rabb headlines a group of six players that will work out for the Lakers on Tuesday, which was posted on the team’s website. Rabb is currently ranked No. 25 overall by DraftExpress and Los Angeles owns the No. 28 selection, as well as the No. 2 overall pick. He’ll be joined by four potential second-rounders in Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame (49th), Oregon guard Tyler Dorsey (46th), Nevada forward Cameron Oliver (59th) and SMU forward Sterling Brown (57th), as well as Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.