The Golden State Warriors announced that head coach Steve Kerr could miss the remainder of the playoffs, describing an “illness” that could be far more serious than first thought. Complications with a back surgery that Kerr had over two years ago is still giving him discomfort and other problems. He stated that if the discomfort doesn’t subside, coaching the rest of the playoffs are out of the question. Former Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown will step in and serve as the interim coach.
BREAKING: Steve Kerr will NOT coach tonight due to an illness. Mike Brown will take over tonight.
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) April 22, 2017
The following is a statement from Kerr to FoxSports.com:
“This is not going to be a case where I’m coaching one night and not coaching the next,” Kerr said. “I’m not going to do that to our team, to our staff. We’re hoping that over the next week or two, or whatever it is, I can start to make a definitive realization, a deduction, or just feel it that I’m going to do this or not.”
When asked specifically if it was possible he might not coach again in the postseason, Kerr replied, “Yeah, I just said that.”
While it is obvious that Kerr is trying his hardest to come back, a return to the bench seems unlikely as the back problems have been recurrent. In missing the first part of last season, interim coach Luke Walton lead the team to a 39-4 record (including the historic 24-0 start), so success without their head coach would be nothing new.
Kerr’s first surgery was supposed to fix a lingering back problem stemming from his playing days, which subsequently failed, resulting in a second surgery in the fall of 2015. The pain from a cerebrospinal fluid leak (CFL) caused him to miss the aforementioned 43 games at the start of last season. His symptoms included consistent discomfort, dizziness, and nausea. While there doesn’t seem to be any new complications, it is the CFL that caused him to miss Game 3 against the Portland Trail Blazers and potentially the remainder of the postseason.
— Statzbola (@statzbola) January 9, 2017
Hopefully Kerr, 51, will be able to get the help he desperately needs to return to the sidelines, whether it be for these 2017 NBA Playoffs or at the start of next season.
The Warriors had no problem with Portland in the first round, sweeping them in just four games. With the Utah Jazz and Los Angles Clippers playing a winner-takes-all Game 7 on Sunday, the Warriors will have to wait and see who they draw.