The Golden State Warriors could have a familiar face return to their sideline for Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Sources tell ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that Steve Kerr could return from his leave of absence amid health concerns to coach the Warriors on Thursday night.
Kerr has discussed the possibility of returning with Mike Brown, who’s coached Golden State in his absence. And Brown is encouraging the move.
“He’s talked about possibly coaching Game 1,” Brown told ESPN’s Michael Wilbon. “And I even tried to tell him, ‘Steve, you should do it … and if you don’t feel like you’re OK, half through the game, just go back in the back.”
Kerr has been out of action since Game 2 of the Warriors’ first-round NBA playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers as he searched for a remedy for the migraines and nausea he’s experienced stemming from back surgery nearly two years ago.
Brown doesn’t believe the coaching change would be a tough adjustment for the players, but he knows Kerr only will come back when he’s fully ready to commit himself.
“We have a veteran team. I don’t think it will jolt our guys at all. I know it wouldn’t jolt me,” Brown said. “You know I understand that that’s my job. But Steve is so conscientious about the players — and you know the storyline and all these other things — that he wants to make sure that he feels good enough to come back and do it on a full-time basis, not rock the boat with anyone or not cause a distraction from our team. And I respect that. I’m OK with it however it happens.”
Kerr’s return certainly would excite the Warriors, but his absence hasn’t affected their play. Golden State is a perfect 12-0 in the 2017 NBA playoffs entering their Finals showdown with the Cavs.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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