OAKLAND — Steve Kerr casually walked into the coach’s pregame press conference before Game 2 like nothing had changed.
“Hi everybody. Any questions or not?” he asked.
But things have changed — after missing 11 games due to complications from his long-standing back issues, Kerr will put on a suit and will coach the Warriors in Game 2 of the NBA Finals Sunday night.
“I’m coaching tonight,” Kerr said. “The intention is to coach tonight and the rest of the series. I’m feeling better. I’m feeling more like I did at the end of the regular season.”
Kerr had been around the team through much of the playoffs and in recent days had helped run practices as well as having been part of film and strategy sessions. He said he had an “idea” about this Saturday but wanted to wait to see how he felt Sunday before deciding.
“The intention is (to coach) tonight and the rest of the series, and that’s the whole good idea,” Kerr said. “I wouldn’t be in this if I was thinking just one game.”
The Warriors are a perfect 13-0 in the postseason so far and 11-0 without him. Kerr praised Mike Brown, who stepped in as the interim coach, and said that apparently his absence was not a distraction despite the players constantly being asked about it.
“And what’s our record now without me? Like 812-6 and something?” Kerr joked, then was told it’s 51-4 over the past two seasons. “These guys are not easily distracted.”
This could provide an emotional boost for the Warriors players heading into Game 2.