By the time Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr made an appearance at the practice facility in recent days for a coaches’ meeting (Friday) and team practice (Saturday), it had been weeks since anyone affiliated with the team had seen his face.
More than anything, the Golden State family was happy to see his face and hear his voice. But everyone was undoubtedly relieved to see him ambulatory on Saturday during practice — somewhat active, even — walking the court and talking to players. After all, it was just about a week ago that he flew to Duke Medical Center for a procedure to repair — and, hopefully, fully resolve — the spinal cord leak that has caused him problems for two years now.
Whether this means he will be returning to the sidelines during the playoffs is anyone’s guess. There has been no official statement about the effectiveness of the procedure and, if statements from the Warriors are any indication, a return is doubtful.
But his ability to show up to the coaches’ meeting and practice is a great sign for the Warriors’ chances against the Spurs. At minimum, his appearance was a morale booster and worry reducer for everyone involved with the team. At maximum, he was able to make sure the coaches have a solid game plan going into the Mother’s Day matchup against the Spurs, and that the players are ready to execute.
Kerr knows that San Antonio is the most formidable opponent Golden State will face so far in these playoffs. Considering he coached through pain all this time without the fan base knowing, it is pretty safe to assume that he would’ve showed up to help the team prepare for Sunday’s game, no matter the level of pain or overall quality of his physical condition.
Assistant Coach Mike Brown has held his own and been successful in Kerr’s absence, and the team is ready to go to battle with or without him on the sideline. But if Kerr is not there on the court, he undoubtedly will be nearby, and engaged — watching, planning, preparing to offer what he can, when he can.
Plus, he already has made a solid mark on this team and, as with the first two rounds, the Warriors are locked in and ready to rumble, whether it is Brown or Kerr calling the plays.
Like the entire Warriors’ organization, all of Dub Nation just wants Coach Kerr to get better so that he can be free of pain and enjoy a decent quality of life.
So, with that, join me in wishing Coach Kerr a speedy recovery!