When the world champion Golden State Warriors launch their title defense, they will be without their skipper, Steve Kerr, who is “suffering from back surgery complication,” according to Ethan Sherwood Strauss of ESPN.com.
Warriors general manager, Bob Meyers made the announcement.
Myers said there remains no timetable on Kerr’s return.
“Even if you ask Steve, he doesn’t know,” Myers said.
“Basketball is everything he’s ever known and loved,” Myers said. “So you can relate to that. You can know he’d do anything to be out here in full capacity.”
Luke Walton, who helmed the Warriors during Kerr’s preseason absence, will continue in that role until Kerr returns. When informed of this, Walton said:
“When he first stepped away, my gut told me he’d be back by the start of the season,” the 35-year-old assistant said Saturday. “But my gut was wrong.”
Last season, Kerr took over the role of head coach and immediately molded the Warriors into one of the most successful teams in NBA history, winning 67 games and rolling to, and through, the Finals. Kerr was the first rookie coach to win a title, and he also set a new NBA record for wins by a rookie coach.
The Warriors lost their offensive coach, Alvin Gentry, who assumed the duties of head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans this summer, so the absence of Kerr will be felt even more. That said, Kerr’s biggest strength might be his inclusion of his assistants in game-planning, so if any club can endure the loss of their captain, it’s the Warriors.