Updates from Monday, May 19
“We’re very pleased to introduce Steve Kerr as our new head coach,” said Warriors General Manager Bob Myers. “We are confident that he will be an extremely good fit for our team and our organization as we venture into the future. The fact that he played for several of the greatest coaches in the history of the game – including Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich – will serve him well, as will the many nuances that he learned from performing on the brightest stage during his incredibly successful, championship-filled career.”
“I’m really excited about the unique opportunity to coach a very talented team and work for this committed management group,” said Kerr. “In my estimation, the Warriors, from top to bottom, have become one of the marquee organizations in the NBA in recent years. I’m looking forward to becoming part of that environment and building upon the success of the last two seasons.”
Updates from Saturday, May 17
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports on potential assistants for Steve Kerr's staff:
Among staff possibilities for Golden State coach Steve Kerr: Andy Greer (Chicago) and Nick Nurse (Toronto), sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 17, 2014
Five-time NBA champion and former general manager Steve Kerr is set to make his NBA coaching debut after agreeing to terms with the Golden State Warriors, according to TNT's David Aldridge:
Stunner: Steve Kerr spurns the Knicks, accepts Warriors' head coach job. Story coming on http://t.co/tv9kc59jsI.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) May 15, 2014
The Warriors' Twitter account confirmed the news:
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports provides the terms of the agreement:
Steve Kerr has agreed to a 5 year, approximately $25 million deal with Golden State, source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 15, 2014
Sam Amick of USA Today verified that the contract does not include an option:
Asked person w/ knowledge if there were any options on Kerr's five-year, $25 mil deal with Warriors: "Straight five years."— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) May 15, 2014
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweeted out a text he received from Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob:
"We love Kerr. Incredibly prepared. We got him because of our players. The Golden State Warriors' future is bright," Joe Lacob says in text.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) May 15, 2014
Spears also added a note about Kerr's potential assistants:
Warriors won't be able to get Mike D'Antoni or Mike Brown as an assistant on Steve Kerr's staff,sources said.Brown prob will take season off— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) May 15, 2014
Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com put into perspective how much money Kerr is receiving:
Steve Kerr made $15.8 million as a player, just signed for $25 million as a coach.— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) May 15, 2014
The 48-year-old TNT broadcast analyst was rumored to be the leading candidate for a plethora of coaching vacancies around the league, including the New York Knicks. Yet as Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News pointed out, Kerr has always been a fan of one Warrior in particular:
As Suns GM, Steve Kerr desperately wanted Steph Curry in the 2009 draft. Gets to coach him now.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) May 15, 2014
Although there are plenty of question marks surrounding Kerr as a result of his inexperience on the bench, he clearly understands what's required of a championship team, having won five rings with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
A former second-round draft pick by the Phoenix Suns in 1988, Kerr was a valuable contributor off the bench throughout his 15-year NBA career, doing most of his damage from beyond the arc.
He also experienced a fair amount of success as an executive with the Phoenix Suns from 2007 to 2010, contributing to one of the most successful periods in franchise history and overseeing a team that reached the Western Conference Finals during his final season.
Kerr has also served as an insightful color commentator for NBA and March Madness games in recent years, demonstrating tremendous basketball knowledge from the booth.
The only question is whether Kerr's NBA experience and basketball expertise will translate to success as a head coach. His career accomplishments should establish credibility in the locker room, and the fact that he played alongside the sport's greatest player in Michael Jordan and under two of the game's most respected head coaches in Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich certainly bodes well.
However, it will take more than an accomplished resume for Kerr to win consistently in this league. The Warriors boast one of the best starting units in the NBA, but the pressure to perform will be immense considering Mark Jackson was fired following a 51-win season and back-to-back playoff appearances.
As an inexperienced head coach, it's critical that Kerr surrounds himself with seasoned assistants that can devise plays on both ends of the floor. If he's able to put together the right staff and maximize the talent at his disposal, Kerr and the Warriors could well be on their way to greener pastures.