Monte Poole

Resume comparison: Popovich the teacher vs Kerr the student

Resume comparison: Popovich the teacher vs Kerr the student

Programming note: Warriors-Spurs coverage starts tonight at 5:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

While the San Antonio Spurs are chasing the Warriors this season, as was the case in each of the past two seasons, it’s quite the opposite for the coaches.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr is trying to reach the same level as his primary coaching mentor, Gregg Popovich of the Spurs, whom Kerr admires to no end.

Eight games shy of three seasons into his career, Kerr is off to a start far more impressive than Popovich or anyone else ever to preside over an NBA sideline.

When the Warriors and Spurs tip off Wednesday night at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Kerr will have 200 victories on his resume. Popovich owns 1,146 wins, all with the Spurs. It’s inconceivable that Kerr would coach long enough to achieve 1,000 wins, much less 1,146 and counting.

Kerr, 51, likely won’t compile 20 consecutive winning seasons, as Popovich has. And Popovich’s ongoing record of wins with one franchise may never be surpassed.

But much of what Popovich, 68, has done is reachable, if not already accomplished, by Kerr.

Kerr’s 67-15 record in his first season (2014-15) is the best ever for a rookie coach.

Kerr reached 200 in 238 games, faster than any coach in any of the four major sports in the United States. Popovich didn’t win No. 200 until his 304th game.

Popovich won an NBA championship in his second full season; Kerr did it in his first.

Pop won four titles in his first 10 seasons; Kerr has eight seasons to add three more.

Pop has reached the 60-win mark five times in 20 full seasons; Kerr has hit that level in each of his first three.

Under Kerr, albeit with considerable help from interim head coach Luke Walton, the Warriors in 2015-16 set a league record with 73 wins. The high for the Spurs under Pop is 67, reached last season.

Kerr’s win percentage: .840 (200-38). Pop’s win percentage: .696 (1,146-501).

Both coaches have, of course, benefitted from supremely talented rosters.

The Spurs under Popovich have had as core players one player, David Robinson, in the Hall of Fame and three more (Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker) certain to get the call. LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard are on that path.

Kerr came to a roster with Stephen Curry, who has since polished his Hall of Fame credentials. Draymond Green and Klay Thompson have the goods for the honor. Kevin Durant punched his ticket in Oklahoma City, and now he’s a Warrior.

“I’m lucky,” Kerr said after win No. 200 Tuesday night. “Coaching is all about the guys you coach; Are they coachable? Are they talented? And the answer to that is an emphatic yes. These guys are amazing and I’m really lucky to be able to coach them.”

In short, Kerr’s reaction is precisely as Popovich’s is whenever he wins a game or an award or a championship.

The student has learned well from the teacher, even if he fails to match the old man’s enduring excellence.

Draymond expresses distaste for Raiders' move: 'I won't attend a game'

Draymond expresses distaste for Raiders' move: 'I won't attend a game'

Having been a member of the Warriors for nearly five years, Draymond Green has become a fan of Oakland and its people.

Considering that, as well as Green’s outspoken nature, perhaps it’s not surprising he expressed profound distaste for the Raiders’ impending move to Las Vegas.

“That's crazy. I feel bad for the city of Oakland,” Green told reporters Tuesday night, after the Warriors posted a 113-106 win over the Rockets in Houston. “I don't even know how that's going to work, honestly, with a football team moving to Las Vegas. I feel bad for the city.

“If I were the fans, I wouldn't attend a game for the next two years. But that’s just me. That's ridiculous. No way I'd pay my money to attend a game.”

Though Green roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the 27-year-old power forward has attended games at the Coliseum and developed relationships with members of the Raiders, a franchise established in Oakland in 1960. The team moved to Los Angeles in 1982, and returned to Oakland in 1995.

Green was 5 years old in Saginaw, Mich. when the Raiders returned to their original home in ‘95, and he, like many Bay Area Raiders fans, clearly is having trouble digesting the idea of them being based in another city.

“That's like moving the Dallas Cowboys or moving the Packers,” he said. “Moving the Raiders? You can move a lot of teams. Ain't many fan bases like the Raiders fan base. That's like moving the Boston Celtics from Boston or the Lakers from LA.

“You just don't move certain franchises with the fan base they have.”

The Raiders are the second professional team preparing to vacate Oakland. The Warriors, after all, are planning to move to San Francisco in 2019.

“It's one thing if you're moving them from Oakland to Fremont or something,” Green said of the Raiders. “To Las Vegas? I wouldn't attend a game. I won't attend a game.

“And I'm not a diehard Raiders fan, but I support the city of Oakland. It ain't for me and I feel like all fans should feel that way. You just don't do that. Come on man, that's ridiculous.”

 

Instant Replay: Warriors hold off Rockets, pick up big 60th win

Instant Replay: Warriors hold off Rockets, pick up big 60th win

BOX SCORE

The Warriors raced out to a big lead early, and then had to hang on for a 113-106 victory over the relentless Rockets on Tuesday night at Toyota Center in Houston.

Stephen Curry, with 32 points, and Klay Thompson, with 25, led the offensive charge. Draymond Green put in 19 points and Andre Iguodala came off the bench to add 12.

Though the Warriors led by as much as 22 in the first half, Houston kept coming. It was ferocious defense that allowed the Warriors to prevail, as they held the Rockets to 38.8-percent shooting, including 16.1 percent from 3-point distance.

The victory was the 200th of Steve Kerr’s coaching career, making him the fastest coach to reach that milestone. He is 200-38 as Warriors coach.

The Warriors (60-14) overcome a 39-16 disparity in free throw attempts to reach the 60-win mark for the third consecutive season for the first time in franchise history.

James Harden posted his 20th triple-double of the season, with 24 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to earn the victory for the Rockets (51-23).

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Even though Curry didn’t have a particularly good shooting night by his standards, at least in the early going, he came on strong late and checked a lot of boxes needed for the win.

Curry’s line: 32 points (11-of-22 shooting from the field, 3-11 from beyond the arc, 7-of-10 from the line), team-high 10 rebounds, team-high seven assists and two steals. He played 33 minutes and finished plus-9 for the game.

TURNING POINT:
After Houston pulled within three, 76-73, on two free throws by Nene with 5:06 left in the third quarter, the Warriors closed the quarter with a 10-2 to take an 86-75 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Rockets got as close as five in the fourth quarter before the Warriors finished it.

INJURY UPDATE:
Warriors: C/F James Michael McAdoo (L eyebrow laceration) left in the first quarter and did not return. F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, bone bruise) was listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Rockets: F Ryan Anderson (R ankle sprain) was listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT:
The Warriors traveled to San Antonio immediately after the game and will face the Spurs on Wednesday night at AT&T Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:35 Pacific.