SAN ANTONIO — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he’s not sure yet whether he’ll be able to coach in the NBA Finals as he continues to deal with complications from back surgery two years ago that have kept him from coaching the past 10 playoff games.
Kerr was able to travel with the team for the first time since taking an indefinite leave of absence on April 23. However, sources told ESPN that he’s still in a significant amount of pain and discomfort and that his return to traveling with the team should not be read as an indication of progress.
Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob told ESPN late Monday night that he has told Kerr to take “as long as he wants” to return to the team.
“He is a fantastic coach and a fantastic human being and a great friend,” Lacob said. “I told him the other day, ‘I don’t even want to talk about or think about anything other than winning this championship. You can contribute in any way you can, and we’ll worry about the future in the future.'”
Lacob said that having Kerr around during this series has helped the team in ways that are hard to measure.
“He is still here. He’s in the locker room. He’s around. His imprint is all over this,” Lacob said. “I don’t view it as he’s not here; he’s just not on the bench.”
The Warriors will have nine days off before the NBA Finals begin on June 1.