With Game 1 of the NBA Finals set to tip off Thursday evening in Oakland, the biggest lingering question is whether Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr will be on the sideline.
Out since Game 2 of the first round with complications from back surgery he underwent in 2015, there’s been a lot of different reports focusing on Kerr’s status.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers had indicated he wasn’t ready to return after Golden State took care of San Antonio in a four-game sweep in the Western Conference Finals. That was followed by more optimism from acting Warriors head coach Mike Brown earlier this week.
Now comes this report from ESPN suggesting that Kerr could indeed return to the bench at some point during the Finals against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Steve Kerr looks better than he has since he took a leave of absence during the Golden State Warriors’ first-round playoff series, and there’s a chance he will coach at some point against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.”
For his part, Kerr doesn’t think to seem a potential return to the bench would matter all too much. He could be right in that assumption, especially considering Golden State boasts a 10-0 record with Brown acting as the team’s interim head coach in the playoffs.
Then again, Kerr’s success in three years as the Warriors’ head coach has been historical. He entered the playoffs having posted an absurd 207-39 regular season record with two Western Conference championships and an NBA title under his belt. To say that Kerr would be a boost from an in-game scheming standpoint would in no way be an overreaction.
That’s only magnified by the dominance LeBron James has displayed in creating mismatches on the offensive end of the court.
Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals tips off in Oakland on Thursday evening.