Cavs-Warriors: Steve Kerr reportedly could return to Golden State bench for NBA Finals
Kerr has not been on the bench since Game 2 of the opening round of the playoffs
According to a report from ESPN, Kerr looks better than he has since taking his leave of absence earlier in the playoffs, and his status for Game 1 won't be made until closer to tip off -- which is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET on Thursday night. Kerr has entertained the idea of returning if his health permits, and acting head coach Mike Brown thinks he could return as early as Game 1 against the Cavaliers.
"He's talked about possibly coaching Game 1 ... and I even tried to tell him, 'Steve, you should do it, and if you don't feel like you're OK, halfway through the game, just go back in the back,'" Brown said on Wednesday.
While Kerr has not been on the Warriors bench coaching, he's been actively involved with the team's preparation and strategy formulation throughout the playoffs. The team has maintained that his " " status could change, health permitting, and Warriors GM Bob Myers would gladly welcome him back to the bench at any stage of the playoffs—including the Finals.
Because the Warriors have played the majority of the playoffs with Mike Brown at the helm, the idea that a coaching switch could throw off the team's mojo is a theory that has been tossed around. But Brown, who has been an assistant under Kerr for the entirety of the season, says it would be anything but.
"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 regarding Kerr's possible return to the bench. "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 and 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."
The Warriors are a perfect 12-0 in the playoffs but face an entirely different challenge in the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, the team that knocked them off their perch last season and won the title on the Warriors home floor.
Although Golden State has showed no signs of easing off the throttle under Brown, Kerr's return would be a boost not only from a coaching perspective, but could also enhance the team's morale as it looks to avenge their Finals meltdown from a season ago.
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