According to a report today from ESPN, Steve Kerr is seeing a specialist at Duke University, and is unlikely to return to the Warriors’ bench this round. Kerr, who has taken an indefinite leave of absence since Game 3 of the Portland series, has been crippled with a return of his post-surgery side effects, including nausea and headaches.
He remains out indefinitely and sources indicated it has become "very unlikely" he would return during the Warriors' second-round series against the Utah Jazz.
Originally, it was thought that Kerr might be able to treat the pain and return for the beginning of this series vs. the Utah Jazz. However, the longer he stays away from the team, the more you get the feeling that he might be done for good this year. It’s an unfortunate, scary, and unprecedented circumstance for a coach in his position.
With Mike Brown at the helm, the Warriors have won four straight games. Brown has been more than capable in handling the coaching chair — while still running Kerr’s offensive and defensive sets, as well as handling the substitution pattern — but how far can this team go without their fearless leader? The Warriors are a veteran squad. The groundwork has been laid, the path forward is championship or nothing. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green know what it feels like to win a title. They know what they must do.
And, if the team does pull together and win a championship this season behind Brown, what does the coaching staff look like at the beginning of next season? Does Kerr return? Does he take a year sabbatical? Is he forced into early retirement? Does Mike Brown get a head coaching gig elsewhere, regardless of Kerr’s physical condition?
These are all questions without answers. For now, all we know is that Kerr will not be returning anytime soon. Everything else is up in the air.
Nothing is more important than Kerr finding a path forward with his health, and with his life. If that path involves coaching the Golden State Warriors again this season, I know I, for one, will be extremely happy. However, nothing is guaranteed. Hopefully he’ll find some answers down at Duke University.