Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr Returning To Warriors Bench For WCF Game 1

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has exited the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols and will be available to coach the club in the Western Conference Finals, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Kerr had entered the NBA’s coronavirus protocols ahead of Game 4 in the Western Conference Semifinals series vs. the Grizzlies. Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown, who will depart Golden State’s bench after the season to become the Kings’ head coach, stepped in for Kerr for the final three games of the series. Brown guided the Warriors to an eventual 4-2 second-round series victory.

The Warriors will be playing in their sixth Western Conference Finals since Kerr’s hiring in 2014. Golden State will face the winner of tonight’s Game 7 second-round matchup between the top-seeded Suns and the fourth-seeded Mavericks. Game 1 of the Western Finals is scheduled for Wednesday.

Kerr offered an update on the health of Otto Porter Jr., as well, noting that the Warriors forward did not partake in on-court workouts with the team, per Kendra Andrews of ESPN (Twitter link). Porter, who missed the team’s series-clinching Game 6 of the Conference Semifinals due to right knee soreness, was exercising on a stationary bike today, per Slater (via Twitter).

“I talked to him and he said he was feeling better,” Kerr said. “We’re hopeful he will be able to play Game 1.”

According to Andrews (Twitter link), Kerr also offered up an injury update on another Warriors role player, suggesting that guard Gary Payton II may become available to suit up for Golden State at some point during the next round of the playoffs.

“It would be a long shot for him to play, but I think it’s a possibility,” Kerr said.

Payton suffered a left elbow fracture at the hands of Dillon Brooks on May 3, and was initially expected to miss at least three-to-five weeks of game action. A Western Conference Finals return would be on the early side of that timeline.

Warriors’ Otto Porter Jr. Out For Game 6

Warriors acting head coach Mike Brown told reporters, including Mark Medina of NBA.com (Twitter link), that Otto Porter Jr. will miss Friday’s Game 6 against the Grizzlies. Porter had previously been listed as questionable with right foot soreness.

Brown said he’s contemplating tweaking the rotation with Porter sidelined, with more minutes for Kevon Looney, Jonathan Kuminga and Nemanja Bjelica, Medina tweets.

As Anthony Slater of The Athletic observes, Porter’s absence is a major loss for the Warriors, as he’s been a key cog of Golden State’s best lineups against Memphis. In the second-round series, the Warriors are +45 in Porter’s 106 on-court minutes, and -55 in 134 minutes without him (Twitter links).

In 63 regular season games this season, Porter averaged 8.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals on .464/.370/.803 shooting in 22.2 minutes per night. Those figures seem relatively modest, but the 28-year-old forward is a good rebounder, smart defender and has a high basketball IQ. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

In other Warriors news, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that head coach Steve Kerr, who’s currently in the league’s health and safety protocols, might miss Game 7 if the Grizzlies win tonight. The Warriors currently lead the series 3-2, so it’s an elimination game for Memphis. Kerr still needs to return two negative COVID-19 tests prior to making his return, but he’s been actively involved in creating game plans via phone and video calls, Kawakami notes.

Pacific Notes: Wiseman, Lakers Draft, Brown, Kerr

Warriors center James Wiseman plans to play in the Summer League if he doesn’t suffer any more setbacks in his recovery from a right knee injury, Kerith Burke of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. Wiseman was ruled out for the season in late March. “I’m never going to give up, no matter how hard it gets,” said Wiseman, the No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft. The big man has been doing stationary work but hasn’t returned to contact, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers are bringing in six draft prospects on Tuesday, Jovan Buha of The Athletic tweets. That group will include DeVante’ Jones (Michigan), Jeriah Horne (Tulsa), Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu (UT Arlington), Jamaree Bouyea (San Francisco), Jordan Usher (Georgia Tech) and Grant Golden (Richmond).
  • Kings fans will have to wait to hear from their new head coach. A press conference to introduce Mike Brown as Sacramento’s coach, which will also include GM Monte McNair, won’t occur until the Warriors are eliminated from the playoffs or win the championship, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee tweets.
  • Until then, the Kings can take comfort in Steve Kerr‘s endorsement of his associate head coach, Kendra Andrews of ESPN tweets“He’s an amazing coach and an amazing friend. Sacramento made a great choice,” Kerr said. “It’s a loss for us, but this is how it’s supposed to go.” Brown filled in for Kerr in Game 4 of Golden State’s playoff series against Memphis after Kerr tested positive for COVID.

Morant Out For Game 4; Kerr Enters Protocols

Ja Morant will miss Game 4 of the Grizzlies’ series against the Warriors on Monday, coach Taylor Jenkins told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk (Twitter link) and other media members during his pregame press conference.

Morant was expected to sit out. He suffered a knee injury in Game 3 and will continue receiving treatment. He’s considered day-to-day, which opens the door for a possible Game 5 return.

Morant finished Game 3 with a game-high 34 points, seven assists and three steals in 36 minutes. The Warriors’ Jordan Poole tugged on Morant’s right knee as he was swiping for the ball during the fourth quarter.

Tyus Jones will start in Morant’s place, Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets.

The Warriors won’t have their head coach on the sidelines. Steve Kerr has entered the league’s health and safety protocols, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Associate head coach Mike Brown, who was officially named the Kings’ head coach on Monday but remains on Golden State’s bench through the playoffs, will serve as acting coach.

Kerr had been wearing a mask in recent days and his voice was hoarse during press conferences, Slater adds in another tweet.

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Iguodala, Kuminga, Kerr

Warriors star Klay Thompson logged 40 minutes in the team’s game against the Hawks on Friday, a major accomplishment since recovering from a torn ACL and torn Achilles’ tendon. The 32-year-old finished with 37 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the loss, shooting 9-of-16 from deep.

“That’s a big win for me,” Thompson said on recording 40 minutes, as relayed by Kendra Andrews of ESPN.com. “I can’t remember the last time I played 40 minutes … a huge milestone for me.”

Head coach Steve Kerr also complimented Thompson after the contest, calling it his best outing since returning. Thompson’s previous season-high in minutes was 38 against San Antonio one week ago, while is next highest was just under 34 against Milwaukee on March 12.

“Rick (Celebrini) may not be (comfortable with it),” Kerr said, referring to the team’s director of sports medicine and performance (as shared by Anthony Slater of The Athletic). “I may have a text on my phone. But I thought it was Klay’s best game.”

Here are some other notes out of Golden State tonight:

  • Kerr is hopeful that Andre Iguodala will return against the Grizzlies on Monday, Slater shares in a separate tweet. Iguodala has been dealing with a back injury and last played on February 7. He’s appeared in 26 games this season, averaging 4.1 points and 3.8 assists in 19.9 minutes per contest.
  • Golden State started Jonathan Kuminga in place of Kevon Looney on Friday, as noted by Slater (Twitter link). This allowed Draymond Green to play center, pairing Looney with Otto Porter Jr. off the bench. The team used the same starting lineup for its game against the Wizards on Sunday.
  • Kerr explained his rationale behind the lineup adjustment, noting how it’s important to settle on a lineup before the playoffs come. “We’re going to have a ton of flexibility these last eight games,” he said as part of a full quote, according to Andrews (Twitter link). “Without Steph, everything changes for us in terms of the domino effect of different rotations. I decided to separate Draymond and Loon for more spacing and more shooting on the floor at the same time.” Stephen Curry remains out due to a sprained ligament in his foot and is expected to return before the postseason.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Green, Wiseman, Looney, Kerr

Warriors star Stephen Curry went off for 47 points in Monday’s win over Washington, his second-highest point total of the season and his highest single-game mark since Draymond Green went down with a back injury in early January. After the game, head coach Steve Kerr said there was “100 percent” a correlation between Green’s return on Monday and Curry’s big night, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN.

“It changed for Steph right away, as soon as Draymond got out there,” Kerr said. “The chessboard changes with Draymond out there. With Steph, everything looks and feels a little bit different.”

Curry and Green only shared the court for 15 minutes, but Green’s impact on the former MVP was immediately apparent. Curry poured in 41 of his 47 points with Green on the court, scoring just six points on 3-of-9 shooting in the 20 minutes he played without him.

“When I’m not out there and when I’m watching, I see things that can be done that can help him out,” Green said, per Andrews. “He’s the greatest shooter we’ve ever seen. But you still have to screen, and you still have to find him in good spots and make sure he gets good shots and easy looks as opposed to tough looks all the time.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Prior to Monday’s game, Kerr told reporters that Green won’t be in the starting lineup for his first few games back, per Andrews. The former Defensive Player of the Year will also be restricted to about 20-to-23 minutes per game for the next week or two, and he’s OK with that. “I’m usually against any restrictions. I hate them,” Green said. “… (But) I am actually very inviting of it this time around. I know I need it. I know I need them to protect me from myself.”
  • After playing with the Santa Cruz Warriors on Thursday and Sunday, second-year center James Wiseman will play another G League game on Tuesday, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. According to Kerr, the team hasn’t made any further decisions on Wiseman, who is working his way back from knee surgery.
  • Green’s return will likely cut into Kevon Looney‘s playing time, but Looney’s importance to the organization has never been felt more than it has this season, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. As Thompson details, Looney has made a major impact both on the court – with Green and Wiseman unavailable for much of the season – and off it, with teammates like Jordan Poole praising the big man’s veteran leadership.
  • Tim Kawakami of The Athletic explores how Kerr has gotten creative managing the Warriors’ rotation this season while incorporating rookies and dealing with injuries and slumps, noting that the veteran head coach will have an increasing number of options available to him as the team gets healthier.

And-Ones: Team USA, Faried, Bennett, All-Star Voting

New Team USA coach Steve Kerr may not hold a training camp involving players during the summer, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Kerr, who officially took over the position earlier this week, has talked to managing director Grant Hill about conducting a coaches camp instead, which would represent a new approach for the national team.

The next World Cup won’t take place until the 2023 offseason, and the next Olympics are two-and-a-half years away. Team USA will be hoping to get a two-year commitment from its players to participate in both events. The Americans have won the last four Olympic gold medals, but finished seventh at the 2019 World Cup.

“I’m in touch with Grant all the time and we’re discussing those things,” Kerr said. “Obviously there is COVID complications as well, but with the World Cup not being until the following summer, there’s not a huge sense of urgency to get a bunch of players together. It’s more about getting the coaches together and really starting to put a foundation together.”

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Kenneth Faried has received an offer to play in the G League, tweets Marc Stein of Substack. The 32-year-old big man played eight NBA seasons, but hasn’t been in the league since finishing the 2018/19 season with the Rockets. Faried has played overseas since then, but ended his arrangement with CSKA Moscow last week.
  • Anthony Bennett has parted ways with Hapoel Jerusalem, tweets Israeli basketball writer Roi Cohen. Bennett, the first selection in the 2013 draft, averaged 7.0 points per game while playing in the Winner League and the Basketball Champions League. Bennett has been out of the NBA since the 2016/17 season and has played both in the G League and overseas.
  • Fan voting for the NBA’s All-Star Game began today and will continue through January 22, the league announced (via Twitter). Votes can be submitted at NBA.com, through the NBA app or on Twitter. Votes will count double today, as well as January 13, 17 and 20.

Team USA Names Steve Kerr Head Coach

DECEMBER 20: USA Basketball has made it official, announcing that Kerr has taken over as the head coach of the men’s national team, with Williams, Spoelstra, and Few joining him as assistants.


DECEMBER 10: Steve Kerr will be the next head coach for USA basketball, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. A deal is currently being finalized, and a formal announcement is expected soon.

Kerr, who served as an assistant to Gregg Popovich on this year’s gold-medal winning team in Tokyo, will take over for the FIBA World Cup in 2023 and the Paris Olympics in 2024 (Twitter link). His staff will include Suns head coach Monty Williams, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and Gonzaga head coach Mark Few.

Kerr, 56, has been among the NBA’s most successful head coaches since being hired by the Warriors in 2014. He has led Golden State to three titles and five appearances in the NBA Finals.

The decision on Kerr represents Grant Hill‘s first major move since taking over as managing director of USA Basketball, Wojnarowski notes (Twitter link), adding that Hill spent several months meeting with candidates and assembled a coaching team that has experienced success in the NBA, college and internationally.

Marc Stein first reported in September that Kerr was viewed as the frontrunner to be Popovich’s successor for USA Basketball.

Pacific Notes: Ariza, Bradley, Howard, Jordan, Lee, Iguodala, Kerr

Lakers forward Trevor Ariza participated in his first non-contact practice since preseason ankle surgery on Thursday, Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets. Coach Frank Vogel says Ariza will need a “build-up” period before he’ll play. Ariza was projected as a starter after signing a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Lakers guard Avery Bradley will not need surgery on his sprained right thumb, Bill Oram of The Athletic tweets. Bradley will be available to play on Friday but he’ll require a splint to protect the injury. Vogel is unsure whether he’ll play Bradley or to give him more time to recover.
  • It’ll be one veteran center or the other in the foreseeable future for the Lakers, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register tweets. Vogel plans to use either Dwight Howard or DeAndre Jordan on a game-by-game basis. Howard will get the start against the Clippers on Friday, so Jordan probably won’t play.
  • Damion Lee will return to action on Friday for the Warriors, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Lee, who last appeared in an NBA game on November 24, left the team for the birth of his first child. Andre Iguodala will miss his eighth consecutive game due to right knee soreness.
  • Despite winning multiple championship, Warriors coach Steve Kerr hasn’t lost his competitive spirit, as he told Sam Amick of The Athletic. “Part of what allowed me to stay in the NBA for 15 years as a player is that losing humiliates me, you know? My competitive desire drives me,” he said. “But like a lot of players at this level, the fear of losing is an even bigger motivator. So even though I don’t stop and think about legacy or anything like that, I just want to (bleeping) win, you know? It burns in me.”

Western Notes: Looney, Kerr, Lue, Williams, Cousins

Kevon Looney will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and thus far, he’s enhanced his résumé. Head coach Steve Kerr said the Warriors’ big man is underappreciated and that his contributions go far beyond stats, Mark Medina of NBA.com tweets. “Looney is playing fantastic basketball,” Kerr said. “He’s totally underrated. He’ll never get the credit he deserves.” Looney, an afterthought in the offensive scheme, is averaging 5.5 PPG and 6.6 RPG.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Kerr and Clippers coach Tyronn Lue have a mutual admiration, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register tweets. Lue says he hears from Kerr often. “He’s always checking up on me … very positive, motivating guy,” Lue said. “I don’t cheer for too many guys, but I do cheer for Steve… a genuine good person. He is one of my friends in coaching, which is pretty rare, for me.”
  • Thunder forward Kenrich Williams is dealing with an ankle injury suffered in Friday’s loss to Washington, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman tweets. Williams, who is averaging 6.8 PPG, has been ruled out of Monday’s game against Houston.
  • The Nuggets, who have been decimated by injuries, worked out DeMarcus Cousins last week, Marc Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated tweets. Cousins opted to sign a non-guaranteed deal with Bucks. Nikola Jokic has been dealing with a wrist injury and JaMychal Green is his primary backup.