OAKLAND, Calif. — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr remains confident that he will return to the sideline this season, although he still is experiencing symptoms from back surgery complications.
“I would hope tomorrow, but tomorrow’s not happening,” Kerr told the media Tuesday evening before his team opened the season against the New Orleans Pelicans. “I fully believe that I will be back before too long.”
Kerr’s duties are being handled by interim coach Luke Walton while Kerr recovers from the spinal fluid leak that occurred during his July 28 back surgery on a ruptured disk.
On the pain of not coaching his team, Kerr said, “It’s killing me. It’s killing me not to be out there tonight.”
However, Kerr, 50, said he might travel with the team on its upcoming road trip to Houston and New Orleans, noting, “I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve quickly figured out that sitting at home does me no good, whatsoever. My symptoms are there, whether I’m at the gym or at home. So I’d rather be at the gym.”
Kerr was scheduled to be present at Golden State’s pregame ceremony, in which the Warriors will receive their rings and raise their banner for their 2014-15 NBA championship. He planned to watch the game from the locker room.
Kerr said it would be “very weird” to leave the court after the ceremony and go to the locker room, joking that he and Walton would use walkie-talkies to communicate. Kerr, who attended the past four practices after missing a string of workouts in recent weeks while “resting or seeing doctors,” also planned to see his team at halftime.
“It’s good to be back around the team quite a bit,” Kerr said. “Prospects long term are great. I know I’m on the right path, I’m on the right track. I’m very confident I’ll be back this season. And I can’t wait. … I’m excited to be part of the ceremony but I’m really disappointed not to be coaching. I’ve got to be patient, and that’s probably not my greatest virtue right now.
Kerr has resumed exercise and said that has helped him physically and emotionally. He is stretching, using an elliptical machine for cardio work and doing yoga.
“That’s a big part of all this,” he said. “After the long season last year, I basically spent three months in pain and not working out, and that’s a big part of my daily ritual. It was a long, long summer. It feels good now to break a sweat finally, and I think that’s going to help me get out of this whole thing and push forward, and I’m very confident about that.”
Kerr also got to see first-year Pelicans coach and former Warriors associate head coach Alvin Gentry on Tuesday.
“I think he’s getting better. Obviously it was a huge concern, and I just didn’t think that it would be right to be here tonight and go through this whole ceremony without him being here,” Gentry said. “The main thing is that everybody’s ecstatic that he’s here, because he was the leader of this whole thing and he did an outstanding job as a first-year coach.
“No one would ever have anticipated him being able to do what he did, but if you know Steve and the competitiveness that he has, it doesn’t surprise me that we end up winning the championship at all, knowing how hard he worked and the dedication that he has and the way he sold the players on exactly what he wanted from them.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.