The start of the NBA season is right around the corner, which means the start of the G League season is only just a little further away. The Golden State Warriors affiliate in the G League, the Santa Cruz Warriors, kick their season off on November 10, and conclude the regular season on March 30.
That’s a long time of quality basketball which will feature intriguing prospects, journeyman veterans, the team’s two-way contracts, and, in all likelihood, a little bit of their recent draft picks, first-rounder Brandin Podziemski and second-rounder Trayce Jackson-Davis.
And they’ll have a new coaching staff this time around. We’ve known for a little while that Nicholas Kerr, son of Golden State’s head coach Steve Kerr, would be taking over as head coach in Santa Cruz.
You can defend the move by pointing out that many of the great coaches in sports (and basketball in particular) come from a lineage of head coaches, and that the younger Kerr has worked his way up, spending a year as a quality assurance assistant for the San Antonio Spurs, then four years in various assistant and development roles for Golden State, then two years as an assistant coach in Santa Cruz before getting promoted to head coach. You can also criticize the move as being nepotism for a franchise that also employs a large swath of people with the last name “Lacob,” as well as Klay Thompson’s brother.
Now we know the rest of the coaching staff. Joining Kerr on the sidelines are assistant coaches Noel Hightower and Brandon Rosenthal, as well as Bracey Wright, who has the title of assistant coach/player development.
Rosenthal and Wright are in their first season with the Sea Dubs. The former has spent time working for the Phoenix Suns NBA team and their G League affiliate, and most recently was an assistant coach at Arizona State. The latter was recently a coach at the Warriors Basketball Academy, and in 2019 wrapped up a 14-year playing career, which featured two seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves and stints with 14 different international teams. According to his LinkedIn, he spent the pandemic working as an insurance broker before diving into coaching last year.
As for Hightower, it’s his second season as an assistant coach in Santa Cruz.
The new-look staff replaces last year’s staff, which helped the Baby Warriors go 18-14. That staff was led by head coach Seth Cooper who, after two years prowling the Santa Cruz sidelines, has joined Golden State’s staff.