Warriors' Steve Kerr Returns to Team Ahead of WCF After Clearing COVID-19 Protocols

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 15, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 07: Head coach Steve Kerr reacts to the officiating against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first half of Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals of the NBA Playoffs at Chase Center on May 07, 2022 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr returned to the team Sunday after clearing health and safety protocols.

Kerr missed the final three games of the Warriors' second-round win over the Memphis Grizzlies after testing positive for COVID-19. Associate head coach Mike Brown led the Warriors to two wins in the three games he coached.

Despite his lack of physical presence, Kerr remained involved with game-planning and held meetings virtually with coaches and players. Kerr and Brown were speaking three times per day during the former's absence. 

Brown will be leaving the Warriors once they're eliminated from the playoffs to take over as the Sacramento Kings coach. Klay Thompson and Brown shared an emotional moment after the Warriors' Game 6 victory over Memphis. 

“When I went to give [Thompson] a hug … I wanted to say, ‘I love you’ and, ‘Great job,’” Brown told reporters. “I started saying that. And it was crazy. The only thing he said was, ’Mike Brown, I’m going to miss you next year when you’re in Sacramento. I’m going to miss you yelling at me, telling me to get back on transition defense.’

“I said, ‘OK, Klay.’”

Kerr is in his eighth season with the Warriors. He previously missed time during the 2015-16 season to rehabilitate a back injury, leading to Luke Walton taking over for a short period. 

Walton, ironically, is the coach Brown will be replacing when he heads to Sacramento.

The Warriors will play either the Dallas Mavericks or Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals.