Steve Kerr Says He's Not Ready to Return for 2017 NBA Finals vs. Cavaliers

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2017

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 19:  Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors motions to his team during their game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on April 19, 2017 in Oakland, 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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

As the Golden State Warriors approach Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals on Thursday, they'll continue to be without head coach Steve Kerr.

Kerr told reporters Monday he doesn't feel healthy enough to return to the bench, according to ESPN.com's Chris Haynes. Kerr added that his status is "still up in the air," per Haynes.

Kerr hasn't coached the Warriors since Game 2 of their first-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers. After he was initially ruled out, he said he wouldn't rush a return to the sidelines. 

"I will say this," Kerr said, per the San Francisco Chronicle's Scott Ostler. "This is not going to be a case where I'm coaching one night and not coaching the next. I'm not going to do that to our team, our staff. We're hoping that over the next week or two, whatever it is, that I can sort of make a definitive realization, or deduction, or just feel it, that I'm going to do this or I'm not."

In Kerr's absence, assistant Mike Brown has been elevated to interim head coach, and the Warriors have hardly missed a beat, sweeping their way to the Finals.

"We want to do that for him when we're out there playing," Stephen Curry said of the team's drive to win for Kerr, according to the Mercury News' Daniel Mano. "It's been huge and obviously it changes the identity of the Warriors and bring us a championship and give him another one."

Kerr, 51, underwent back surgery in the summer of 2015, and he proceeded to miss the Warriors' first 43 games of the 2015-16 season. 

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Since then, he's experienced complications—including a spinal fluid leak that gives him excruciating symptoms such as migraines and nausea, according to ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne

Pressing on without Kerr may be dispiriting, but the Warriors have proved to this point they're fully capable of thriving under Brown's guidance.