Steve Kerr says he might not coach in Game 1 of the NBA Finals as the Golden State coach is still yet to recover from the recurring back pains from the surgery he had two years ago.
The Warriors, who are set to face defending champion Cleveland in a record third straight Finals series, have been coached by assistant Mike Brown in their last 10 games since Kerr cannot fulfil his duties because of the back pains.
“As of right now, I will not coach Thursday night,” said Kerr in a surprise media appearance.
Kerr said he wants to coach the Finals in top condition, and he knows he is far from it since the their first round series against Portland.
“I’m not well enough to coach the game, and I know that, I coached all 82 games and I did OK,” said Kerr. “I was uncomfortable and in a lot of pain, but I did fine. I could make it through. The first two games of the Portland series, whatever happened, things got worse.
“You saw me in the fourth quarter of Game 2. I could not sit still in my chair. It was that much pain. I would say that I’ve gotten a little bit better. That’s why I’m here talking to you now. But you can probably tell I’m not sitting here happy go lucky.”
Kerr praised his interim replacement Brown, and even joked about his team doing better when he’s out because of his back pains.
“It’s his [Brown’s] team, but he’s also taking my advice and counsel from behind the scenes,” added Kerr. “It’s not easy, but he’s obviously doing a good job. There seems to be a theme when I’m out. I think the team is like 108 (wins) and 2 (losses).”
Kerr missed time in the early 2015-2016 season because of the same injury, and his then-assistant Luke Walton, now head coach of Los Angeles Lakers, led the team to a 39-4 start. Brown is 10-0 in these playoffs.